PHOENIX, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Running a small or mid-sized business requires many varied skill sets. Executives make countless decisions every day, many of which will positively or adversely affect the bottom line.
While larger corporations can benefit from the expertise of a board of directors when making important decisions, many companies are not able to leverage that type of relationship on a regular basis. Even though a formal board of directors is not practical for all businesses, an informal variation of the concept could be a boon.
"Every business could benefit from knowledgeable advice," said Lisa George, Regional Senior Vice President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "All the better if that advice comes from a trusted source outside of the business, who can offer a fresh perspective."
Business owners who are considering setting up an informal advisory board or committee can turn to many sources who are already important to their business. Choosing experts in varied fields will create a board with diverse experience and professional expertise, who should be able to assist with complicated or challenging questions. More specifically, business owners should consider incorporating the following into their advisory board:
- Insurance representative
- Marketing professional
- Staff member
While it is not necessary that an informal advisory include any of the above individuals. This list can be used as a starting guide to implementing such a board. There are many other experts who could be a vital part of the team, including representatives from trade or advisory groups in the area. Members should be professionals who can be trusted to provide honest advice, and have years of experience in their profession. Informal boards generally do not have fiduciary, legal or voting rights that are associated with a formal board of directors, which may help when recruiting advisors, and the business owner is typically not obligated to take their advice. How often you meet is up to you. Normally, advisory boards meet no more than monthly, and often only quarterly. Once assembled, the advisory members should be introduced to each other to create synergy among the team and promote collaboration.
Creating an advisory board comprised of the right individuals can greatly increase a business' chance of success by drawing on the collective education and experience of each member. It could prove to be an invaluable resource for small businesses.
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) and M&I® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group