by John Francis

A Focus on the Future: 5 Forward-Thinking Benefits of Having a Board

Oct 17, 2017 1:00:17 AM Franchise Planning, Advisory Boards


This is Part 3 of an 8 part series that dives into the eight key benefits of having an advisory board and how it can help you, the business owner, achieve greater levels of success. 

For more information on the benefits of forming an advisory board, listen to my interview on Social Geek Radio here.


Whether we’re thinking about disaster or succession planning, looking towards the future is an important part of running a business. However, it’s not something that many of us give enough thought to on a regular basis - we’re busy in the day-to-day, and it’s hard!

That’s where having an Advisory Board comes in.

Although these Boards are often focused primarily on short-term growth strategies (solving today’s problems), if you ask them to get involved in the long-term growth of your business, they will. By empowering your Board to think further ahead towards the future, you can collectively work towards the following:

    1. 1. A Long-Term Planning Strategy (Owner first). Not just in terms of where the business is going, but about the owner’s plan, too. As the owner of the company, when do you plan to retire? How long do you want to keep the business going? Do you have a succession plan in place? By working through these questions, you’ll be better able to position the company for the future - whether that involves selling the business or transitioning to a new management team.
      2. Long-Term Strategic Thinking (What’s Next). Planning for the future is about more than setting goals for the next few years. If you really want to position your business for growth, you need to be thinking about five to ten (or more) years down the road, too. These planning sessions usually happen at an offsite event where you can brainstorm and think through long-range new ideas in a relaxed, group setting.
      3 . Watching Your Competitors (Anticipate Responses). Paying attention to new and existing competitors can help you think about your business’ future plans, too. Compare your business to theirs and look for pivots in their strategy. When a shift is expected or identified, try to figure out why the change is being made, how it will impact you and what you can do about it.
      4. (Natural) Disaster Planning. Whether it’s a hurricane or a flood, there may be a time in your business’ future when disaster will strike; and if you want to get through it unscathed, a disaster plan will be key. Years ago when there was a chemical spill in a neighboring building and our office was evacuated, everyone was responsible for working together to get the word out. The key here, was that we didn’t use the spill as an excuse for a day off. Instead, we had planned in advance and worked together to keep the business moving. Your Advisory Board can help you do this for your business, too.
      5. (Leadership) Disaster Planning. As the owner of the company, what happens if you experience a medical emergency and are suddenly unable to work? Who will run the business in your absence?  And who will cut the checks? Every business owner needs to have a plan in place to ensure the business can keep running - and it needs to include your Board and be well communicated to the team. Just having this plan can calm a lot of nerves - and ease the stress of your family and co-workers should something unexpected happen down the road.


When you’ve worked with your Board to develop a plan, then you need to “pressure test” that plan, share it with your management team and update it periodically to ensure it remains relevant to your business’ current needs. You need to make sure it’s ready to go!

Many business owners don’t have a plan that looks far enough into the future. But when disaster hits - or your retirement day approaches - you’ll be glad you took the time to plan ahead. Use your Board to help with this, and get more value from the time and effort together.

If you’d like to talk about how you might do this, please connect with me at your convenience for a call - no charge!

John Francis

Written by John Francis

About the Franchise Expert


John Francis is an enthusiastic, engaging, and entertaining public speaker because he speaks from experience and he speaks from the heart. Franchising is in his blood, and his parents were true pioneers in the industry, turning their family haircutting business into a 1,000-salon franchise empire. He has been a franchisee and a franchisor, and has a deep understanding of the issues both face. Book John to speak at your event, and you and your franchisees will learn how to look at your business in new, positive, and profitable ways.

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