Entrepreneurs use advisory boards as launch pads
BUSINESS confidence is underpinned by confident decisions. Confident decisions are proven to be best made by a motivated group of people equipped with a mix of relevant skills and experience.
These fundamentals underpinned the creation of the Advisory Board Centre, founded by Louise Broekman in 2012 as a result of her positive experience in appointing an advisory board for her – then – small business.
Ms Broekman is a firm believer in the power of well-sourced advisory boards to offer vital support to entrepreneurs at all business stages – but particularly in those cash-strapped and mission-critical early growth stages.
“Today’s business leaders are striving to find access to current ground-breaking thinking that can help their business elevate to the next level,” Ms Broekman said. “They’re demanding innovative, cutting-edge business intelligence and strategic insights from the very best minds.
“They want deep engaged partnerships based on mutual respect and committed two-way support over the long-term. Long term confidential partnerships with other entrepreneurs who are current in the market can be that ground-break they need.
“That’s exactly why the Advisory Board Centre was founded.”
Business confidence seems to be in short supply in the current environment, Ms Broekman said, as evidenced by the decline across Australia in the number of businesses employing more than 20 staff.
“It is one indicator of businesses lack of confidence, right-sizing their businesses and reducing their risk,” Ms Broekman said. “In times of uncertainty, this is prudent. If however, these same entrepreneurs were supported in the right way, significant value may be either unlocked or created with a high level of economic impact.”
The Advisory Board Centre is a response to meet this need at a new level, according to Ms Broekman.
“Consultants traditionally engage on a project basis,” she said. “Accountants and lawyers react to deadlines or crisis and traditional boards manage risk and governance at the big end of town. Directors can be paralysed by the threat of personal risk when making decisions around filtered information.
“Governance boards can struggle to be relevant in changing commercial environments. Traditionally, advisory boards have been adhoc and inconsistent.
“Real value from an advisory board comes from structure, facilitation and access to quality-committed advisors selected specifically for the priorities and needs of a business.”
The Advisory Board Centre is a network of certified chairs, approved advisors and recognised experts. Ms Broekman said it was a community of like-minded business professionals “working together and using a common methodology to support entrepreneurs in building greater value in their business”.
The Advisory Board Centre came out of Ms Broekman’s experiences in establishing her own advisory board for her business. That was the trigger for growing her business internationally, reaching 135 offices in eight markets.
“The advisory board changed my business and my life,” Ms Broekman said. “Since 2012 we have developed and implemented advisory board models into businesses, achieving significant results.”
Now the Advisory Board Centre is recruiting entrepreneurs who want to ‘give back’ to the business sector and build a board portfolio. Ms Broekman has developed a free white paper -- Are you Ready for an Advisory Board? – to inform and attract entrepreneurs on to suitable advisory boards.