One of the biggest challenges business owners face is not having someone they can bounce things off. Running a business is a lonely job, and even if there’s more than one of you, it may be that none of you have any experience of being a director.
To solve this problem, many people decide to bring in an outside advisor, commonly known as a Non-Executive Director (NXD). They’ll usually have accumulated a wealth of experience in senior roles, and will be happy to use that experience to help you grow your business.
They will become a director of your business and will typically work with you a couple of days a month. That’s where the ‘non-executive’ bit comes from.
A good Non-Executive Director will add a huge amount of value to a company. As well as taking a seat on your board, you can expect to enjoy a number of benefits. These include:
- They’ll have experience of running a business and will know the right questions to ask;
- Although they might only be in your business a day or two a month, they’ll also be available as a sounding board whenever you need them via email, skype, mobile etc;
- They’ll be able to make introductions to potential customers, partners and funders;
- They’ll bring a different perspective and because they’re not involved in the day-to-day running of the business, they’ll be able to look at the bigger picture;
- A Non-Executive Director will keep the management team in check, providing structure and governance around board meetings, which can often be neglected in a growing business.
Choosing a Non-Executive Director
When it comes to hiring an Non-Exec, here are a few other things you should consider: –
- Do their skills and experience compliment the existing team?
- They need to be able to provide an independent view, and not be afraid to challenge you on strategy and decisions;
- They should be a good communicator and a person of high integrity;
- Previous Board-level experience should be a pre-requisite;
- Good numeracy skills are an advantage. This will help them get to grips with the company’s financial affairs.
A non-executive director can make a huge difference to a business at any stage. The earlier you are able to add one to your board the sooner you’ll start to see the results.