Thinking Strategically: 10 Benefits of a Great Advisor
But what many leaders don’t realize is that they don’t have to walk the road alone.
The best presidents and CEOs rely on help from an advisor (or if the company is larger, an advisory board). These subject matter experts can serve as a sounding board, fill gaps in knowledge, and provide sound advice on solving challenges and achieving current business goals.
If you’re not familiar with the idea of an advisor, here are 10 examples of what a good advisor can offer:
1. Insight for strategic planning
An expert advisor can help company leadership determine market opportunities, decide on the best course of action for individual challenges, and help create a roadmap to help achieve your growth plans.
2. Help refining a product idea or business plan
You have a great idea, sales plan or go-to-market strategy. Opportunity abounds. But who is there sharpening your idea, tempering your enthusiasm or bringing a dose of reality? A good advisor can serve this role.
3. Valuable feedback and recommendations
An advisor’s specific industry experience can provide essential insight as you seek to grow, enter new markets, create new sales/marketing plans and take on the right talent to succeed.
4. Unvarnished truth
An advisor isn’t a yes-man or yes-woman in disguise. Because an advisor doesn’t make their living working for the company, they aren’t afraid to disagree with leadership, ask critical questions, challenge the business model, or poke holes in your marketing strategy. They have the best interest of the company in mind; therefore, their top priority is to provide honest answers—even if it may not be what the leader wants to hear. In the end, they can help avoid painful and costly missteps.
5. Finance skills and access to capital
There are many facets to finance, from managing cash flow to raising capital to securing banking relationships. Although an advisor won’t solicit investments on your behalf, they often know what investors are looking for and how to best prepare for successful conversations. They know how to raise money, how to talk to investors and bankers, or know of funding sources you may not have considered before.
6. Competitive insight
Knowing your competitors is a critical aspect for any business. Advisors can help you gain a better view of the marketplace and illuminate potential blind spots.
7. Key partnerships
A well-connected advisor already has a strong network. Often, they can provide introductions to key service providers, experts, key customers. Possibly these contacts may also prove useful if you ever decide you want to entertain a joint venture or sell the business.
If your company is a start-up, an advisor with experience in your market can lend credibility, which can help you attract outside funding, collaborative partnerships, and possibly, new customers.
9. Operational insights
If your company has grown quickly, it can be hard to keep track of all the moving parts—from product design, manufacturing, quality assurance, removing process waste and recruiting/hiring/retaining people. Someone who has run operations in the past can be invaluable in creating a solid plan.
10. Crisis management
In times of a failed product launch, a recall or a service that didn’t work, it’s helpful to have someone know how to deal with media, or how to stop a crisis from getting magnified.
Let Us Help
The current economic environment is causing companies everywhere to evaluate their vision and roadmaps. If you could benefit from a strong advisor, let us introduce the right one.