Don’t Go It Alone: Tap Into the Resources of Your Advisory Board
Privately held printing companies are similar to large publicly held businesses in many ways. They face the same headwinds of supply chain disruption, the great resignation, and keeping customers happy. A perceived difference between the two can be in the depth and reach of the internal staff, and outside collaborators tapped to help navigate these issues. The larger companies have people in roles that the smaller businesses haven’t even thought existed. But even though they may have more resources, the senior leaders of these larger firms still rely on a select few internal, and external folks to help validate concerns and offer guidance and insight. This group can be depicted as either their official, or unofficial advisory board.
Smaller, private companies can have access to similar types of insight. For example, owners may have a few key managers that they trust in sharing concerns that are not for public consumption. They also have the unofficial leaders on the production floor that can provide them with valuable feedback on many issues.
Looking outside the internal workings of the business, an advisory board can really begin to take shape. There may be friendly competitors and outside service providers that can serve as a source of information and validation. The professional relationships already formed with banking, insurance, legal and accounting professionals can be tapped to share thoughts on strategy and growth opportunities for the business. In addition to this group, trusted executives from their equipment and technology providers could also be included.
Industry-specific peer groups are another valuable resource that owners and senior leaders turn to for advice and confirmation of their thoughts. The communication that takes place between members of these groups is invaluable, particularly with issues facing small to medium sized businesses today.
Another source of advice and counsel that is often overlooked are the customers themselves. Creating a customer advisory board made up of 4-5 key clients can provide critical feedback on new ideas and initiatives. This board can be set for staggered, one-year terms that can provide both continuity and fresh insight.
They key message is, there are challenges to running any type of business in today’s climate, and that you don’t have to go it alone. Selecting from industry-specific advisors, your staff, suppliers, and customers, you can create your own advisory board that will help you navigate these uncharted waters. These advisory boards don’t need to be formal groups. Arrange them to suite your needs. Having more than one group can allow you to segment the topics in which they provide guidance.
Get started on your advisory group today and if you’re looking for ideas on how to get started, let me know. If you have any comments or ideas on advisory boards, please reach out to me or post them below in the comments.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.