As an entrepreneur who has decided to leave a lasting legacy by professionalising your business so that it can outlive you, you may be wondering where to start.
Let’s consider just five fundamentals of doing so.
Extend Your Networks
By belonging to professional bodies such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization, YPO, and others, you are already halfway there. Ensure that you leverage all the opportunities that being a member offers – whether learning opportunities, networking opportunities or new business opportunities.
Consider joining industry-specific or region-specific groups that offer similar opportunities always bearing in mind that you want to grow your business. While you can learn from individuals who are in the same proverbial boat as you and can support them in turn, it is important to network with those who are where you want to be – those with experience who can potentially mentor you to reach your business goals.
Once you have built up a healthy network and have rapport with likeminded individuals who are great examples, you will know who you can rely on to provide an objective opinion with the best interests of your business in mind.
Approach them about joining you in a formal advisory position outlining what you want to achieve from the relationship e.g. meeting regularly to discuss business opportunities and challenges, receiving mentoring on how to grow the business, and being held to account for actions that are agreed on.
Grow the Team
Appointing the right people with the necessary skills, expertise and experience to support business growth based on the objective advice received, will see it achieve great things. With different people being able to focus on specific areas, you will be able to free up your time to focus on what is important to you – growing the business.
Implement a Board
While at face value this looks like just one more thing to tick off, implementing a board is a process best handled by a knowledgeable and experienced service provider such as Sirdar.
Just a few of the aspects involved in setting up a board includes submitting articles of incorporation, appointing directors (beyond investors and internal team members), determining bylaws, deciding on meeting timelines, determining compensation, setting up board member agreements and much more.
While this might seem like a big task – which it is – the benefits are numerous:
- Greater business growth
- Better accountability
- Improved governance structures and compliance
- Heightened objective input on aspects such as vision and strategy
- Greater investor confidence
- Satisfied shareholders
Important in terms of having a board, is ensuring that there is a robust succession plan in place which supports continuity and growth.
Leveraging a board-readiness diagnostic will allow you to understand whether your business is at the right juncture to appoint a board. If it is not, it provides insight into what needs to be achieved to reach this point.
Once again, objectivity is key – this time objectivity on performance of the business, the board as a whole, the chairman as well as individual directors.
By having a board evaluation conducted by an external party, you can expect gaining insight into the following:
- Current performance and effectiveness of the board (and committees where applicable) compared to agreed-upon objectives, requirements and business strategy
- Greater clarity on roles and responsibilities
- Conformance with and rigour of governance processes and practices
- Recurring areas and aspects of board performance most commonly mentioned and that require action
- Actual robustness of controls and risk management
- The balance of your board composition and how this impacts board dynamics
You will also receive a set of recommendations and actions for the board to implement given its current situation.