Advisory Boards are commonly used in privately held companies to provide owners with outside perspective from experienced people, professionals and other owners to help guide a company toward success. The presence of outsiders can help diffuse some of the personality and opinion clashes that can occur in closely held companies and instead move the discussion toward a more fact-based approach. Outsiders are also very effective at holding the management team accountable for accomplishing their goals. Lastly, experienced business people can provide insight into the trends and pressures that they are seeing, which can help owners plan for changes that may be coming. It’s important to note that advisory boards do not have any fiduciary duty or liability, nor do they have any decision-making authority with regards to the company business.
Anchor Advisors, Ltd. works with you to establish the advisory board, and then can continue on to facilitate the advisory board meetings and ensure that they are productive and provide you with the feedback you are looking for.
Establishing an Advisory Board is a straightforward process.
- Determine the size for the initial board. Typically it’s good to start small, say, 3 – 5 outsiders; with the addition of shareholders it could be 6 – 8 people total.
- Assign roles to the available seats. How many will be stockholders, employees, company advisors (attorney, banker, accountant, etc.), and how many will be experienced outsiders (industry professionals, other successful business people)? Do we want specific skill sets or experiences represented?
- Develop a list of people whom you would want to target for each role. Some are obvious (stockholders) while some you might want to have multiple options for (e.g. outsiders).
- Develop expectations for what is involved in committing to this role (How much time? How frequently to meet? Etc.) and what compensation (if any) will be involved?
- Contact people on the list. Determine their willingness to participate.
Anchor Advisors, Ltd. typically works alongside our clients on each of these steps. The first 4 steps can often be accomplished with an initial meeting. The candidates that are chosen are usually a combination of the owner’s contacts along with contacts that are suggested by Anchor Advisors, Ltd.
- As each quarterly meeting is set, Anchor Advisors, Ltd. would work with the business owner and management team to:
- Set a meeting schedule and agenda (Sr. Staff and Facilitator together).
- Identify what materials need to be sent out to board members ahead of the meeting (Materials typically prepared & mailed by company staff).
- Facilitate the meetings.
- Provide follow-up notes to the attendees and management team from the meeting.
- Review feedback received from the board with the management team to determine next steps.
Call today to schedule a time to meet and discuss your specific situation!