I’m writing this guide in June 2020 – in the middle of the Coronavirus Recession. You may have seen my general videos addressing:
- How to build your Recession War Cabinet during the Response Phase of a Recession
- How to evolve your Advisory Board into the Plan Phase of a Recession
Now it’s time to get specific: Here is how I can help you build your Advisory Board to Thrive, not just Survive through the Coronavirus Recession July 2020 – June 2021 … and build your strategy system ongoing.
More Courage as a Business Owner
You know the reasons why the world has changed. So what impact has that had on your business? On your team?
On your courage as a business leader?
A better strategic advisory system gives you courage and direction. It’s a fundamental platform for creating a glorious business, and then your life of wealth and freedom.
For the new financial year, I have designed a system that will support most small-and-medium business owners – without being a burden on your time or budget.
The detailed system for your strategy system is covered in these articles:
- For businesses with 2-12 employees
- For businesses with 12-35 employees
- For businesses with 35-120 employees
On this page, I focus on just the Advisory Board part of that overall system – how to build an external advisory board for your SME.
How to Establish your Advisory Board
These dates are based on when I’m writing this article. You don’t need to wait for July 1 or January 1 to start your Quarterly Advisory process – you can begin this at any time.
July 2020 Strategic Advisory Workshop
With you (and your business partners or leadership team, as applicable):
- Review your business Vision and current plans, goals, or dreams
- Agree your Strategic Priorities and Actions using a tailored set of strategic frameworks
- Provide Annual, Quarterly, & Monthly Financial Reports
- Create your Financial Scorecard
- Create your Strategic Dashboard
Quarterly Advisory ‘Board’ Meetings
You’ll see I put ‘Board’ in inverted commas – there are some important, and legal, distinctions between a so-called ‘Advisory Board’ and a more formal Board with Director duties. Most of these relate to fiduciary duty – it’s critical that you as a business owner get clear about whether you want formal Directors and a Board, or whether you are looking for a regular informal meeting from your group of most trusted advisors.
Making your life easy, especially for businesses with fewer than 35 team members, I am focusing on the advisory group. While I prefer not to make things confusing and call this ‘An Advisory Board’, in reality that ship has sailed and is reasonably well understood.
If your first advisory meeting is July 2020, then your next three quarterly events will be:
~ October 2020,
~ January 2021, &
~ April 2021
You’ll notice that these equate with standard financial quarters, though again they do not have to.
- Happen through in-person meetings or delivered remotely, at your preference
- With agendas tailored to the specific strategic priorities, risk appetite, and progress being made across your business and under your leadership
- Based on the Strategic system linked above, based on the size of your company
Who to invite to your regular Advisory Board meetings?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your business, and how many business partners you have. A small sole-director has different needs to a large firm with six existing directors.
There are 4 Compulsory attendees, although one person may take multiple roles:
- Chair (Can be one of the list below, or a separate invitee, but is a clear role. Some businesses rotate this role each quarter / year.)
- Note Taker (Can be one of the list below, and is also an agreed responsibility)
- Every Shareholder
Then there are several categories of Optional Advisory Board attendees:
- Senior Team Members – eg, General Manager, Chief Operating Officer
- Business Advisor – either to facilitate or to contribute (be clear which)
- Advisory Board Members – Strategically-minded accountant, lawyer, mentor etc
For most – but not all – of the Advisory Boards I Chair, as an external business advisor, I am the only external party in attendance. This is a combination of (1) Me instigating the practice with them, and (2) How much easier it is to schedule a single external advisor each month / quarter than to corral multiple people.
Monthly Financial Reports and Review
At a certain size, you will need to shift to Monthly not Quarterly Board Meetings.
In the meantime, you still want some level of financial reporting. For my Quarterly Advisory Board clients, every month we don’t meet I provide:
- Monthly Financial Reports, tailored to your business and leadership
- Plus a ~1 hour business review call to examine these numbers and their meaning for your communication and decision-making
- Based on the Strategic system outlined above
Note that for me, this requires Xero advisory access
Of course, the system I have outlined here is flexible to the unique needs of your business.
Summary and Your Investment
Interested in some expert guidance to establish your Advisory Board and help you implement your Strategy System in order to bring more courage to you and your team?
Here’s the annual system I provide, in summary:
- July 2020 Strategic Advisory Workshop covering Vision and Strategy, reviewing your previous Financial Reports, and designing your specific Financial Scorecard and Strategic Dashboard
- Quarterly Advisory Sessions in October, January, and April
- Monthly Financial Reports
- Monthly Phone Session, analysing your Financial Reports plus your Scorecard and Dashboard progress.
What that gives you is guidance, confidence, courage, and direction. Better business results, faster, even during a recession.
All of these Inclusions – plus my ‘Client for Life’ program – are available for $850+gst/month or $8,500+gst for the year.
Worth noting that investment is fully tax deductible – should you wish to start before the end of the current financial year – and also eligible for programs like the Queensland Government Adaption Grant.