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Do you need a co-pilot in your business?

As a business owner, you have the dual responsibility of deciding where your business is going, and making sure you get there. Much like the pilot of a plane, you need to know your destination, plot your course and then get your aircraft from A to B.


A business adviser can help you get there

There’s a lot to be done and a wide range of skills required to get there. For some, those skills come naturally – they’re able to create a vision, set out their strategy and organise the business to deliver day in, day out. For others, mastering this full range of skills is a challenge, meaning additional business advice is a must.

Then there’s the issue of prioritising what needs to be done. Especially when we’re busy, we tend to react to what’s immediately in front of us. We tackle what has just landed on our plates, we respond to whomever shouts loudest, or we resort to doing what we like best. If you’re piloting a plane, these are not good behaviours!

An independent business adviser will help you stay focused, determine what you want to achieve with the business, plot how to get there, ensure you meet your targets along the way, and provide business advice whenever you need it.

Someone who can land the plane if you need them to

In addition to providing business advice and external input, a few business advisers are able to function as your co-pilot. Whilst the pilot has the primary responsibility to get the plane to its destination, the co-pilot is capable of delivering the same result should the need arise. Think of it as having a ‘shadow MD’: someone experienced, capable and with a deep knowledge of your business, having worked alongside you in a business adviser role, who is able to step in and look after the company on a temporary basis if you are unavailable.

This exact situation occurred when I was working as a business adviser to CInergy, a software-as-a-service business. The Managing Director needed to go to Australia to set up a new business division, and so while he was away, I stepped into his shoes and led the UK business. Speaking of the experience of working with a business adviser, CInergy Chairman Richard Merrigan said:

‘Ian worked in advisory and board roles with CInergy for six years. Throughout that time, Ian has been an absolute rock. His key contributions included:

• Business strategy, planning and lending independent views and business direction
• Planning and helping to execute sales strategy
• Assisting the review/negotiations of joint venture and M&A opportunities
• Support in multiple equity and debt financing rounds
• Coaching managers and executives

The list of Ian’s contributions is very deep and it shows his breadth of knowledge, experience and willingness to provide support wherever needed in our growing business.’

Ready for take-off?

Determining your destination, plotting your course, checking you have the correct resources, taking charge of the team, navigating to stay on track, taking operational control, foreseeing and reacting to unplanned events, and safely landing where you always intended to be are very wide-ranging skills that are rare in one person. Working with a business adviser is a great way to plug the skills gap.

At Henchards, we have been providing business advice to high-flying business owners in London, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire for 15 years. See how we can help your business reach new heights.

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Meret Maynard
Outspoken Projects

Downloads

We’ve written a number of guides on selected business subjects that will set you and your business in good stead for whatever future you may choose.

These are free for you to download and to make use of in your business, so please help yourself.