- Genuinely impartial external perspective
- Broad commercial experience
- Wide range of contacts
The addition of Ian Hargreaves as a non-executive director (NED) allows your business to benefit from the wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts of Next Level.
When it’s your own business it can be easy to fall into a staid mindset. However, a NED has an outsider’s perspective and is removed from the day to day activity and politics of the business. Because of this they can offer objectivity and may spot opportunities or flag up problems that the management hasn’t noticed. An experienced, independent voice can help you to avoid pitfalls and make better, more informed decisions.
A non executive director helps your board maintain a good meeting culture, ensuring that the focus of board meetings is not diluted by items that are not on the agenda or day-to-day business. Time is important and the meeting needs to be specific and to the point. The accountability of an external board member encourages other members to come to each meeting prepared and eager to work.
Because a non-exec does not work with you day to day, does not engage in office politics and retains their independence, they are able to offer unbiased, constructive criticism at all times.
When you have a non-executive director casting their eye over the way the business is conducting its affairs, you can be assured they will ask probing and pertinent questions, in order to get to the real detail. They can ask the difficult questions because everyone understands that they are doing it purely for the good of the company and not for the benefit of a personal agenda within the company.
You can feel safe in the knowledge that, no matter how troubled you may be by an issue, your non-exec will have dealt with this issue before – or know someone who has! They will be able to rationalise any worries and assist your board and managers in setting clear tasks to achieve what needs to be done.
A non-executive director usually offers a diary of excellent contacts to go along with all their experience. Years in their chosen field has earned them the respect of their peers and fellow businessmen/women. If you need to make an important connection to help further your business, the non-exec will probably be able to make an introduction.
For startups this could mean connecting you with a supplier, distributor or potential client that could really boost your productivity or trading. For more established companies this could be a marketing guru or potential partner which would add new dimensions to your business, or mark a change of direction.
Non-executive directors are responsible for consecutively and consistently challenging the development of strategy, as well as contributing their own ideas to the development of this strategy. This is a large part of the duties of a non-executive director, both for large companies, and small start up companies too.