4 Signs You Should Be Seeking Advice For Your Business Externally Rather Than In-house

Picture of Edward Stockreisser

Edward Stockreisser

Principal Partner

Not all issues can be solved by people within your business. In fact, some of the best business advice can come from totally external experts with no ties to your company. Knowing when to seek this advice – and knowing what it is that you don’t know – is one of the most valuable skills you can have.

At YourBoard, we know the value of impartial third party advice. We provide a board of partners, who bring lifetimes of expertise to your business – whether for consultancy work, hiring the highest level roles for your firm, or even to lend their experience to answer a one-off business question. With this service, you can have a team of unrivalled global partners lend their advice to help achieve your goals, whatever the size of your business.

With that in mind, here are the signs that you should be seeking advice on a business concern externally, rather than in-house…

You need to make a quick business decision
Gathering informed perspectives on a particular topic from key stakeholders within your company can be time consuming on all parts. For you, it requires a significant demand on your valuable time in speaking to multiple people, and often having time-consuming conversations back and forth just to make those meetings happen. These stakeholders can be even more difficult to pin down quickly, especially when it is the most senior Directors in the business who you are looking to consult with (and it should be: when it comes to business advice, the greater variety and depth of experience those you speak to have, the better). Not only is this a demand on your time, but there’s, too.

Then, once you have actually been able to find time to consider the topic with a range of high level staff in the business, you must collate and compare their analyses yourself: another weighty time commitment on your part.

On the other hand, using a service such as Your Board, which allows you to ask a question to the board of high level business experts, who are primed and at your service, means all you need to do is simply submit your question, and within 48 hours, you’ll receive a collective response from a range of partners, approaching the solution from their different angles of expertise – so you can spend more of your precious time on actually making the business solution happen.

You don’t know what you don’t know
Understanding this concept is the key to making better decisions for your business. Put simply, no matter what your experience and successes may be, everyone has strengths in some areas more than others. Understanding where these weaker points of expertise lie means you can seek advice from people whose knowledge fits that exact gap.

SImilarly, the directors of your company as a whole could have extensive knowledge in a particular area, but not so much in others: you might know your local market like the back of your hand, but when it comes to global trading, someone else might have the valuable expertise you need.

Your internal staff are biased when it comes to making business decisions
Being passionate is one of the best qualities one can have in their career. But, it also means that your opinions can become unintentionally biased when it comes to business decisions, especially if you have been with the company for a long time. There are two ways in which people in your business can become biased: through cognitive bias and emotional bias.

Cognitive bias is when people prioritize what they think they already know to be true over new data, even if the new findings suggest otherwise. If things have always been done in a certain way in your business, it’s easy for your staff to have blinkers on when it comes to new ways of operating. This can also result in an inability to properly analyse information, instead only valuing data which confirms one’s existing beliefs and ignoring anything which contradicts it.

Emotional bias, on the other hand, can include loss aversion even when the risk is in the business’ interest, and overconfidence when it comes to business decisions, as well as simple emotional attachments to the business which cloud their ability to make the best choices for the business.

This is where having access to an impartial third party is a clear advantage: they are able to make completely clear and concise, objective observations on the business and advice to best move forward without any prior knowledge of the business clouding their thought process.

Learn from the experiences of others
Other business leaders have already experienced all kinds of business challenges – including the current questions you have about your business, too. But even if your business has never faced the particular issue in question before, there is no need to wade in and navigate these challenges blindly for the first time as a business when you can call on the wisdom of others’ lived experiences.

Call on the experiences of other business leaders in your network in order to take what they have learned first-hand and apply it to your own business – without having to go through the failures that they likely had to, to learn it. Don’t learn the hard way, learn the smart way.

Do you have a business question you’d like to put to the YourBoard team of global business leaders for impartial, considered feedback for your company? YourBoard is giving away 100 free Ask YourBoard a question’ services. Head to LinkedIn now to enter and receive your own free business advice report.