Managing a successful, ambitious business can be a challenge. There are constant demands on your time, there are new markets or customers to address, there are a range of operational issues to solve, your team may be strong but may lack growth experience. Often there is little time to deal with current pressing issues let alone plan for the future.
These challenges are common and have led to an increasing use of independent advisory roles in SMEs. This can take the form of the formal board appointment of a Non-Executive Director, or take a less formal form in the appointment of an advisor to the owner or board. Often the role may evolve from the informal to the formal over time. We believe that an experienced advisor can support the owner and management team in setting and achieving the business’ objectives. In fulfilling an advisory role we can bring a range of skills including:
LAUDIS can use its experience to add to that of the owner and management team. The experience may be in a market, in a particular business function, or in a phase of the company’s lifecycle (e.g. growth or exit).
LAUDIS can provide an objective view of the company challenges, performance and plans. We have run businesses ourselves, and can empathise with business owners. This may challenge the board’s thinking and is particularly helpful if the company is being externally reviewed (e.g. by a prospective client or partner, an industry body, or even a potential investor/acquirer).
LAUDIS do not work in the business full time. This separation provides both the time and the perspective to take a longer term view without the distraction of day-to-day issues. We may see trends, opportunities or challenges before, or in a different way to, the board.
LAUDIS can act as an independent conscience to the board, challenging team behaviours, reviewing corporate governance, and managing difficult conversations.
LAUDIS can often bring new contacts to a business. These contacts may be executives in potential customers, suppliers or complementary businesses. We can also act on behalf of the owner to initiate discussions on sensitive issues.
LAUDIS firmly believe in advisory roles, providing advice, acting as a sounding board, and providing a friendly and informed challenge. We believe that the role will not set direction but can improve the quality of the business’ decisions and actions. If you need some help or just want to talk it through then please contact us for a chat.
“There is evidence that businesses that access and exploit non-executive directors as an intellectual resource perform better in the long run than businesses that do not. Increasingly small and medium sized businesses are realizing the possibilities.” Invest Northern Ireland
“Smaller businesses and start-ups are cottoning on to the fact that having NEDs can be a valuable asset, providing a source of impartial business advice, experience and contacts… The NED is there to make sure that the company is operating to its full potential and that its interests are protected. There are manifold benefits to having an NED.” Business Wings
“For entrepreneurs looking for strategic advice, a Non-Executive can be a fast-track to commercial wisdom, astute introductions and constructive criticism of your strategy.” Daily Telegraph
“Non-Executive Board Members provide a valuable external perspective and ensure that executive members of the Management Board are supported and constructively challenged in their role.” Dept. for Business, Innovation & Skills