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How do you know if you need a Board of Advice (BOA) or Business Coach? While many people have heard how important it is to regularly pause from working in their business to working on their business, the methods of how to do this vary greatly. You can spend time on self-reflection, or obtain a business coach, or engage a Board of Advice. In order to determine the best option for you, it’s important to understand how they work, and consider what value they could deliver for your business.  I recently held a webinar on this topic, and got some great feedback from the participants as to what advisers think they could gain.

We’ve summarised the main points of that  feedback here – we couldn’t say it better ourselves, so we won’t!:

1. Being held accountable for your actions is important. When you are working in your business on a day to day basis, it is easier to ‘hide’ from doing the things you should, or want, to do. A BOA or a coach will come in and question you on your actions to achieve your business objectives.

2. Having objective, external feedback helps you to have someone who is not knee-deep in the business give you a ‘helicopter’ view of what is going on and add different perspectives and ideas that you and your staff may not have thought of.

3. They give you the ability to see what other businesses may be doing. A BOA can provide a range of business ideas from different sorts of businesses that you can implement in yours. A coach will be able to bring their experiences with other businesses in the same sector to give you ideas on what does and does not work.

4. Focus your strategic direction. We are no doubt all guilty of getting caught up on working ‘in’ our business rather than ‘on’ our business. External advisers don’t have the issues of running the minutiae of your business, so have an ability to help you with the problem of ‘not seeing the wood for the trees’.

5. Help you not feel so lonely. Working in your own business, with little recourse to external ideas and business practices can make you feel rather alone. A BOA and a Business Coach have that ‘outside the office door’ view which can help you feel less disconnected with the industry.

So how do you know if the time is right to engage a BOA or a Coach?

  • Your business has grown to a significant size. You’ve enjoyed great success, and have lots of opportunities ahead…you’re now thinking you need assistance to clarify your choices, have someone to bounce ideas off, and make smarter decisions in order to take your business to the next level.
  • You have lots of ideas and great intentions, but your team has difficulty in executing them and staying accountable to the key tasks that will take your business forward.
  • You have great people in your team, but at times it feels a bit like you are trying to ‘herd cats’, so you need the input of someone externally to help you capitalise on the talent in your business.
  • Your business is going through a rough patch and you need help to get through it – a fresh set of eyes to help you refocus on what you really need to do to move forward.
  • You are great at delivering the services your business provides but lack the experience in, or in-depth knowledge of, actually running a business. You feel that your time would be better spent focusing on your core strengths and seeking outside assistance with the business management issues.

Seeking external assistance can be a powerful decision, and generate great results – both financially and emotionally… the next decision to make is what type of assistance to seek. In my next post, I’ll share the differences between a Business Coach and a Board of Advice, and how to make the most of either option!


Sue Viskovic

Sue Viskovic CFP is the Founder of Elixir Consulting; a sought-after speaker; a business coach; and author of a number of books and programs designed for advisers.

With over 15 years’ experience in financial services, with roles spanning banking, funds management, advice and licensee services, Sue has built her career and her business on helping financial advisers, accountants and risk specialists to improve the way that they run their businesses and deliver advice.