Building an Advisory Board: Who should you have in your corner?

March 15, 2016

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Who’s in your corner? Rocky had Mickey, Adrian, and Creed. Who do you have?

I just returned from lunch with some impressive people. Going around the table there was a CPA, Commercial Real Estate Broker, Marketing Consultant, a business banker, an investment advisor; all successful, smart and well-respected in their fields. My partner and I were the insurance agents in the group. I talk to these people pretty regularly; we network together, we refer business, we are friends and they are all in that Trusted Advisor category. I’m talking about an advisory board.

Rocky (my favorite underdog) had Mickey to teach him speed, Adrian to give him confidence, and Creed to teach him to move his feet and dance around the ring. In business, we need experts in our corner, helping us tackle those obstacles that we cannot see or maybe don’t realize we could improve if we only knew how.

Owners always have something to distract their main focus – driving revenue. For instance, sales are good, but should be better. But the idea of developing and implementing a marketing campaign seems daunting. You are writing bigger and bigger checks every year to the government because business is getting pretty darn good, but did you know there are ways to lower that tax liability and protect those assets? I’m sure everyone in your business loves each other, but do you run for cover when there is employee conflict because somehow you became the human resources department?

If you just read that and you fit all those descriptions, then I’d like to meet you! We can’t be experts on everything. You’ve built a dynamo team in your own business. So instead of trying to figure it all out for yourself, put people in your corner. Who do you want in your corner? Keep these three goals in mind when you build your team:

  1. Trust – It takes a relationship to have trust. So take your time and develop a relationship with an expert you admire. Do you like each other? Can you help each other? When it’s right, you’ll know it. Then explain you want them in your corner. Bonus: they might have some others to bring along!
  2. Commitment – Once there’s trust, establish a commitment to helping each other. Building a team of advisors is great for you. But they’ll want to get something for their time too. Make sure that you are all committed to a mutually beneficial relationship.
  3. Accountability – Establish goals and set your meetings for the year. Staying involved throughout the year will be easier when goals are set.

There are many professions I could name for your Corner, but to give you an idea: CPA, Business Attorney, Commercial Lender, Property & Casualty Insurance Agent, Marketing Consultant, Commercial Real Estate Broker, Investment Advisor, Human Resources Expert, Insurance Specialist.

Be aware of what’s missing in your corner. Get the right expert involved and fill that need. Build trust. Be committed. Be accountable. And you’ll be like Rocky – a champ!

Topics: Business Best Practices

Andrea Ames

A&D Advisors, LLC

Andrea has served as a financial services professional for the past three years and joined her father, Don Ames, a successful financial advisor, to launch A&D Advisors, LLC in June 2013. Andrea's role at A&D Advisors is working with successful business owners to preserve their assets and protect their legacies; using advanced life insurance planning, disability income protection planning and long-term care planning. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for NAIFA Austin, and serves as the Young Advisors Team (YAT) Chair. Andrea was recently accepted to the Leadership in Life Institute with NAIFA Texas.
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