The Impact Advisors Can Have On a Business

The Impact Advisors Can Have On a Business

Here’s a secret you don’t hear very often: most successful entrepreneurs get to the pinnacle of their industries with the help of advisors. Professionals who’ve already learned the ropes provide them with guidance on practically everything, helping them get to where they want to go faster.

Why advisors are important for businesses, particularly startups

Leaders need advisors for a variety of reasons. For starters, it can be lonely at the top. When you have a lot of power, you can’t always discuss your ideas, philosophies and plans freely with the rank and file.

Because of this, advisors can function as sounding boards. They let you bounce ideas off them confidentially.

Secondly, it is hard for any single person to have all the answers. Even supposed geniuses, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, surround themselves with people who know how to make good decisions. More input from those with experience gives you a better picture of the competitive landscape, who to hire next, and how to respond to external shocks, such as wars and pandemics. For Thomas Sharpe, one of UptimeHealth’s new advisors, his experience in the industry is what made him so keen on taking on this initiative. Specifically, Thomas stated, “UptimeHealth is addressing a major issue that I have witnessed firsthand in my career - that of equipment, systems, and facilities optimization for maximum life and for maximum uptime. This is a vital mission which is being carried out by Jinesh Patel and Team in a masterful way. I am very excited to help them spread this solution further across dentistry and beyond."

Dr. Roshan Parikh, UptimeHealth's advisor, agrees with Thomas, saying, “Uptime Health is truly solving a mission-critical problem that is often overlooked in dentistry and isn't as "sexy" as the typical high-power analytics or AI spaces. The heart and lungs of a dental office aren't just its practice management system, but it's also the workhorse vacuums and compressors that cripple an office. Knowing the health of your major equipment is as vital as knowing the health of your patients.”  Two perspectives coming from the same industry and addressing how our company can provide value to the industry. Advisors can validate what you have been preaching, because they have first-hand experience providing real scenarios that could’ve been avoided or improved upon if our solution was in place. Two perspectives coming from the same industry and addressing how our company can provide value to the industry. Advisors can validate what you have been preaching, because they have first-hand experience providing real scenarios that could’ve been avoided or improved upon if our solution was in place.

Finally, advisors can help you save time. As a busy business leader, you don’t always have enough hours in the day to conduct diligent research on all the issues your company faces. Therefore, you need advisors who can do the heavy lifting for you, giving you actionable information you can use straight away.

Advisors fulfill a variety of functions. These include:

  • Assisting with strategic planning, showing you where you need to take your business next.
  • Helping you to build and refine a business plan or product idea so that your company can become profitable
  • Providing valuable feedback and guidance on your current operations, including what’s not working
  • Giving you the unbridled truth about your ideas, skills, and decisions (which employees may be afraid to do)
  • Providing you with competitive insight, showing you how you can position yourself vis-á-vis your rivals
  • Increasing your finance skills and improving access to capital
  • Helping you avoid making costly mistakes early on (which can be particularly damaging for early-stage startups)
  • Helping you gain credibility by fostering your network and connections within the industry
  • Providing practical operational insights, showing you where you can improve your business model
  • Teaching you how to respond to public relations disasters and crises

How to choose advisors that work for your business

If advisors can meet all of the above requirements, that’s great for your business. However, finding such people is challenging. Most firms need to hire a group of professionals to advise on different topics to cover all bases.

Listen to your peers

The easiest starting point for finding an advisor is simply to listen to your peers. If colleagues are willing to vouch for a particular person, then take the time to meet with them. Try to find areas of knowledge or wisdom they can offer you that aren't available in-house. Find individuals who’ve served members of your team before and have a track record of success implementing real change in your organization.

Get qualifying questions ready to ensure a good cultural fit

Next, prepare some qualifying questions so you can learn more about candidates’ beliefs, values, and attitudes. Remember, they can only serve your organization if they are a good cultural fit. Both you and your colleagues need to feel comfortable approaching them for guidance and advice.

Begin by assessing your own culture. Get an accurate picture of where you are right now, and where you are trying to go. Understanding your current position makes it easier to figure out if a potential advisor is a good match.

Then ask prospective advisors about:

  • Their attitude towards your firm
  • What motivates them
  • The values they have
  • Their general manner and demeanor

Learn what makes them tick, what excites them, and the type of people they work with best. See if it matches your expectations.

Take someone like Ellie Naderi, an industry leader that has lead multiple DSOs in her career in the role of CEO, and is currently an Operating Partner with Latticework Capital—it was a no-brainer to have her join the advisory board, but we still took the time to meet with her and make sure she was a good fit. Take the time to get to know your advisors because they are going to be the experts you turn to when you need business and industry insights. As a new advisor, Ellie provides unprecedented insight and is a huge believer in the UptimeHealth platform. She stated, “I am thrilled and incredibly honored to support UptimeHealth as an advisor. UptimeHealth has solved one of our industry’s biggest pain points and I look forward to their ability to positively impact equipment inventory and management for all DSOs.”

Set expectations

Advisors won’t provide you with help for free (at least, not always). Most will expect something in return for their time, usually equity in your company, a share in the future profits.

Don’t worry if your equity is small, particularly if you are a startup. Most advisors understand this. Remember, their goal is to help you with their network and expertise so that your company can grow to the point where the equity becomes valuable. Only then will they take their profits.

Post A Job Listing

Lastly, you may want to consider posting a job listing. That’s because it can be challenging to find suitable business advisors in your personal network.

While this approach might not be as targeted, it can attract a wide array of candidates. And this increases the chances of finding a match.

How do advisors choose to work with a company and what are UptimeHealth’s newest advisors saying about us?

While equity and payment are important, most advisors choose to work for companies for deeper reasons.

Take Sam Strain, for instance, a multisite healthcare executive and merger expert, and a new advisor here at UptimeHealth. She is motivated to work with us because of the helpful innovations we are bringing to the market.

“I have seen the dental community embrace the need for better supply chain/equipment and compliance management practices. DSOs have expressed a lot of interest in the type of technology Uptime is building.”

Others become advisors because the company they support is solving a problem they’ve wrestled with for their entire careers. Margaret McGuckin, the founding COO of ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers, for instance, struggled with managing equipment across clinics in 14 states while operating her healthcare business.

“It’s a significant drain on a practice manager’s time,” she says, “and often falls to the bottom of their and the lab’s list of priorities. Eventually, equipment starts to fail and revenue is either delayed or eliminated. UptimeHealth is going to be a game-changer.”

Lastly, some advisors are motivated by the quality of the firm’s leadership. One of our advisors, Doug Brown, CEO of Affordable Care LLC, speaks kindly about our executive team.

“UptimeHealth’s leadership team is outstanding – they bring experience, drive and a client-focused approach to their relationships. The company will simply make the dental profession better.”

Summing Up

In conclusion, advisors can have a tremendous impact on firms’ bottom lines, particularly when exploring new spaces. Their energy and insight are invaluable. And they can help firms avoid costly mistakes early on.

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