How to use an Advisory Board to Reduce the Costs of Corporate Governance

Peer Group Advisory Boards

Peer Group Advisory Boards

An advisory board is a group of people that advises the management of a company.  It does not have authority to vote on corporate matters, nor a have legal fiduciary responsibility. This dramatically reduces the cost of corporate governance. Many private businesses look to advisory boards in order to benefit from the knowledge of others, without the expense, formality or corporate governance issues of a Board of Directors. The costs of membership of an advisory board are similar if not cheaper than employing one non-executive director. This means that you get 12 or more advisors for the price of one!

So what is an advisory board?

An advisory board is basically a group of people who you meet with on a regular basis to help you run your business. It can be a group you have organised yourself, a self-help group or a group of managing directors organised by a third party.

How is an advisory board more effective?

Corporate Governance: A non-executive director has a fiduciary responsibility which means that they must spend time on corporate governance as well as acting as an advisor to the board.

In addition, a non-executive director is responsible to the shareholders rather than to the managing director who may have hired them. This means that they can become a barrier or issue themselves rather than an asset due to their rights and responsibilities.

Reduced board of directors: An advisory board is made up of managing directors of non-competing companies which means that you can reduce the size of your own board of directors as within the advisory board there will be a wide range of skills and experience you can bring to bear on your own business. That means you can employ lower cost but quality senior managers to run the business.

Different Perspectives: An advisory board brings with it a wide range of experiences and perspectives. A sufficiently varied board can bring different perspectives to your problem.

Cost effective: Typically it costs the same to join a managed advisory board as it does to employ one non-executive director. A typical advisory board can have between 12-15 members which means that in terms of value you will have 15 heads working on your challenges and opportunities rather than the one of a non-executive director.

More productive: With a non-executive director you will have one person thinking about your problem. With an advisory board you will up to 15 other people working on it. This means you will have a wider choice of ideas to work on and develop.

Structured learning: Advisory boards organised by others often have workshops for structured learning as it is often cost-effective to bring in world class speakers to help you develop your skills and understanding of the latest business tools and thinking.

Structured problem solving: Advisory boards run by others have structured problem solving sessions so that if you have a challenging problem where there is no clear answer or even process for resolving it then the advisory board’s expert facilitator or chair can provide a structured environment to help you unpack the problem and think through the actions needed to work towards its resolution.

Share difficult issues: An advisory board is working on your behalf and so if you have an issue with a fellow director or shareholder then the advisory board is likely to be the only place where you can share the issue in confidence and receive a sympathetic and understanding ear.

So when you are looking to grow your company and you considering recruiting either an executive or non-executive director, first consider whether an advisory board would a more productive and cost effective option.

If you would like help in finding an Advisory Board in your area, go to:

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High Growth Business needs Dynamic Leaders who are Highly Productive


High Personal Productivity

High Personal Productivity

You and your team have a lot to do. To get through everything, make sure everybody is trained in how to be productive. Make sure you and your team are working on tasks that move you to your objectives.
The underlying philosophy of leaders of high growth companies is that they have a “do it now” attitude. They simply get on with the job and only do those tasks that move them towards their goals. Procrastination is the enemy of high growth. Doing nothing is no longer an option for any business, high growth or not.

Your Review

Consider the following questions.

  • Do you have clear objectives of what you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months?
  • Do you make choices of what tasks you need to do based on achieving your objectives?
  • Do you proactively manage your time?
  • Do you create a short task list at the end of the day or the start of next so that you are clear on what you need to achieve during the working day?
  • Do you have a “do It now” approach?
  • Are you well organised?
  • Is your and your team’s workspace clean, tidy and well organised?
  • Do you and your team manage your emails well?
  • Are you and your team good communicators?
  • Do you have stand up meetings and keep sit down meetings to a minimum?

When you have considered the questions, work though each of them and write down your answers and create an action plan.

Your Action Plan

Your action plan should include, what, who is responsible and by when for the following:

  • Write down 3 things that you really need to achieve within the next 3-6 months.
  • Over the next 2 weeks write down everything you do and see if you can eliminate or delegate some of lower value tasks that you do and which don’t get you closer to achieving your objectives.
  • Get into the practice of writing down 3-6 tasks that you need to complete during the day which move you forward to your objectives.
  • Review your workplace. Is it decluttered? Is it clean? Is it easy to find what you need?
  • Put 2-3 hours aside and ask your team to come in prepared to completely clean up and tidy their work area. Take a picture of the clean, tidy and organised area and pin the picture on a prominent location to remind everybody what the area should look like.
  • Setup 10 minute stand up meetings at the start of the day/shift/handover. Ensure a senior manager attends the meeting for the first few weeks and agree metrics which will help the team meet the objectives of the business.
  • Put in place ground rules for email management and identify those that struggle to manage their inbox and help them get in control.

This article is part of a larger project to help business owners and managers understand what it takes to grow your business successfully.

Download the free ebook, “Unlock the Secrets of a High Growth Business”

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Posted in Business Coaching, KUB, Leadership and Management Development, Personal Productivity, Time Management

Minimum qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal

From 6 April 2012 the minimum qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal rose from one to two years.

However, it is important to appreciate that this will mean employers could have two classes of employees with differing rights to claim unfair dismissal. This is because these changes will not affect employees whose period of continuous employment began before 6 April 2012.

For more information, please go to: Personnel Solutions: HR Company and Human Resource Management

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Are you a Dynamic Leader?

Dynamic Leadership for High Growth Business

Dynamic Leadership for High Growth Business

High growth businesses need dynamic leadership. The culture of a business comes from its leaders. If the leader has a clear vision, sense of purpose, is a good communicator, motivates the team, celebrates success, is visible and is continually learning then this will permeate throughout the business.

This article is designed to help you review whether you are a dynamic leader and put in place actions to help you grow your business.

Consider the following questions.

  • Does your business have a sense of purpose? What is it? Do you have bigger goals other than to make a profit? Do they provide your team with a sense of purpose?
  • Do you have clear objectives of what you want your turnover and profit to be in 3 year’s time?
  • Have you shared your longer term objectives with your team (these can be 12 months as they will be more tangible to your team)?
  • Have you got objectives that must be achieved in the next 3 months?
  • Have you shared your short term objectives with your team?
  • Walk round your business. Is every area a nice place to work? Does everybody have access to a kitchen? Is it clean and free from clutter? Do the toilets work and are they kept clean? The ultimate test, is would you work there?
  • Do you celebrate success towards your business goals with low cost activities (free lunch, ice creams etc)?
  • Are you visible and accessible to your team and the organisation as a whole? Do spend time simply walking round the business and asking how things are going?
  • Do you find time to learn? Do you allow your employees to learn as part of their job? Do you and your team learn from mistakes made or failures? Does your business embed the learning in the way it does things?

When you have considered the questions, work though each of them and write down your answers and create an action plan.

Your action plan should include, what, who is responsible and by when for the following:

  • Sense of Purpose or Values.
  • 3 year business objectives (Turnover, Profit, Product/Services, Target Markets).
  • 12 month objectives for sharing with the employees.
  • 3 month objectives for what needs to be done first.
  • A review and improvement plan (if required) for the amenities in the work place.
  • Communicate achievable targets with the team and what would trigger a low-cost celebration.
  • Spend time away from your desk with your team.
  • Review of how people and your business learn including how you learn from mistakes or failures.

This article is part of a larger project to help business owners and managers understand what it takes to grow your business successfully.

Download the free ebook, “Unlock the Secrets of a High Growth Business”

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Ground Rules for Email Management

Email can be very time consuming. These ground rules are designed to help companies and employees get their time back and get email management under control.

The principle is to only touch an email once and to keep your inbox clear.

Elimination: Can you delete the email?

Automation: Can’t eliminate it? Can you use a rule to delete it or move it to a folder? If you are copied in on a lot of emails then you can create a rule to automatically move any emails you are cc’ed on to a folder so that you can still search.

Delegation: Can’t eliminate it? Are you the best person to do it? Can you delegate or out source it? Once you have delegated it, move the email to a folder called Delegated so that you don’t lose track of what has been delegated.

Do It Now: Process what is left. If you can do tasks immediately, don’t keep rereading jobs on job lists or emails in your to box. Do it now. You will be surprised how many tasks only take a few minutes.

Project Manage: For those remaining emails that require more time move them to an Action folder a dedicate some time in your diary for clearing action items.

Batch process tasks: Only check your email at set times during the day. (e.g. 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00) Switch off the alert of an incoming email.

Brevity: Keep emails short and to the point. Be clear on what actions you want the reader to take. If the email is for information only, make it clear in the subject line. Use bullet points.

Subject Line: The subject line should be a brief summary of what is in the email. Try to make it so that the reader can simply act on the subject line.

Focused: The best approach is one idea per email. List multiple actions in bullet points.

Length: If an email looks like it needs to be more than 20 lines then consider putting it in a briefing document, better still a mind map or use one of the new Smart graphics in PowerPoint so that the ideas can be scanned quickly.

Email conversations: Don’t. Pick up the phone. You can speak faster than you can type.

Keep it positive: Only send emails that have a positive message. For anything else pick up the phone or meet them in person. No jokes, they will be taken the wrong way.

Cleanliness: Keep your inbox clear.

If you would like help with email management and growing your business, go to:

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Explore the best Digital Marketing Strategies for Your Business

Digital marketing is almost similar to traditional marketing as digital marketing strategies also include targeting, segmentation, positioning, resource auditing, and objective setting. Digital marketing is more focused on research work concerning market. The target should be decided based on a product; you should choose market and audience according to your product. Only then, your product would be known and used. Digital marketing should be integrated in order to produce multichannel, marketing strategy.

The digital marketing strategies should be with clear target and aimed objective. Regular analysis of these measures should be done. The strategy & approach should be coherent. There should be proper medium of communication between the target audience and the marketer. There have been much marketing- campaigns to give a message to the audience. There are different boulevards to create a house-full website. The best medium of communication is through Radio, TV, outdoor ads.

Good digital marketing strategies follow planned events. Before the actual construction of the project, it should be ensured that its building blocks be properly defined. For example, you want to create your website, you should start with paid- advertising campaign or start to develop the brand. You should follow all the steps of digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing strategy is truly essential, some of the function that can be considered as a part of the strategy are SEO, Email Marketing, video Marketing, Website Design & Functionality, Social Media Management, PPC and Facebook Advertising.

For building, your website, the points that should be considered in digital marketing strategies are design and functionality. Your research should include more research and the presentation of your website should be eye- catching.

PPC and Facebook Advertising is one the crucial aspect of digital marketing strategy, this medium does an excellent deal of publicity and increases popularity of your product. Next is the Affiliate Marketing is one of the best way of digital marketing strategy. In this, you employ salespeople.

Today digital marketing has become a crucial aspect of marketing; entrepreneurs referring offline marketing should prefer digital marketing strategies to enhance the performance of the product.

Today digital marketing is popularly known, and everyone seems to follow digital marketing strategies to sell their product. For a successful marketing, the product should be brought in the market following the digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing has helped to reshape the market; consumers are more from digital marketing than a TV advertise.

Digital marketing strategies include all the advertisement media; this helps your product to be known. The factors that should be considered while preparing digital marketing strategies are given here.

Selecting right audience for the product is the prerequisite for the success of your business. You should always advertise your product where it is needed. It ensures better sale of your product and its longevity is increased. Secondly, you should plan and prepare well before launching your new product, the ideas involved should be new and refreshing. Last and most notable is the budget, you should never go for the product, which is out of consumers hand or your capability to pay for the production.

For more information go to:

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategies, Digital Media, KUB, Marketing

Digital marketing: A structured marketing analysis is essential for business success.

The whole world has gone technology crazy, from smart phones to handbag sized laptops. It is anticipated (retail analyst Verdict) that by 2014 online expenditure will increase by more than 56% to £35bn.  Can you afford to be left behind in the digital age? The simple answer is no you can’t.

There can be no doubt that to stay competitive and to stay ahead of your competition a marketing analysis system is essential, with it you can clearly identify profitable opportunities as well as indentifying the strengths, weaknesses and risks of a company.  Implementing an effective marketing analysis system is no mean feat, there is then a natural progression towards a professional company like digital marketing to work on those areas you have highlighted in an analysis and target your audience to continue to outperform your competitors.

What needs to be included in a well structured marketing analysis?

In a good marketing analysis there are some essentials that will not only identify a company’s marketing strengths, and areas that can be improved upon, but it will also highlight where a competitors weaknesses are offering an opportunity to exploit and profit from them.

The essentials include an analysis of:

  • Products and services. Key products, best sellers and those that need promoting.
  • Promotion.  How, where and to whom do you promote the products.
  • The market.  Where is it, and who is it.
  • Price point.  How do the product prices compare to the competition and how and on what is it based.
  • The marketing team.  How does the marketing team communicate with the customers, is this an easy process for the team, and is it easy for the customers to business with the company.
  • The competition.  Who are they, how do they market their products, how do they meet the demands of the market, how is their website performing and, importantly, are they ahead in the search engine results.

All questions that need to be answered in an effective marketing analysis and this is where digital Marketing can help.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is a term that describes all online marketing techniques. In addition it can also include such media as radio, television and mobile phones.

Using a marketing analysis to firstly highlight your key products and services as well as identifying those that may need more promotion, is vital to the health of any business, but more so in an online environment because not only can a company see what its competition is doing, but so can the competition. So Digital marketing is a blend of different Internet marketing techniques offering a company the opportunity to stay ahead.

Using Digital Marketing

In an “online” world businesses that don’t keep up with Digital Marketing are destined to fall behind and fast.

Digital marketing requires a company’s marketing team to stay on top of current trends and improvements in web technology, whilst being able to design, adapt and manage marketing strategies for the benefit to their customers, a challenge for sure, but one that must be won.

For more information go to:

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Posted in Business Coaching, Digital Marketing, Digital Media, KUB, Marketing