How to Use a Board to Analyze Competitive Intelligence in a Small Business - dummies

How to Use a Board to Analyze Competitive Intelligence in a Small Business

By James D. Underwood

If your business has enough personnel to form a competitive intelligence team, the team can work together to collect and analyze data. If you’re running a small business, however, you may not have enough different perspectives to properly analyze the data. You may not even have a board of directors in place to offer guidance, challenge your assumptions, and call attention to potential threats.

If you’re strapped for resources, here are some ways to reap the benefits of outside help without spending a lot of money:

  1. Form a company advisory board of talented friends and business associates.

    You could include college professors you’ve had, business-savvy friends, and CEOs of noncompeting businesses.

    Avoid “yes” people. Recruit independent thinkers who aren’t afraid to challenge you and who encourage you to think outside the box. You don’t want dream killers who shoot down all your ideas, but you do want people who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.

  2. Keep the board posted concerning actionable intelligence and any progress you’ve made in implementing strategies.

    The board can help hold you accountable for putting your intelligence into action.

  3. Schedule a quarterly lunch meeting to tap into your advisory board’s group wisdom.

    One week prior to the scheduled meeting, make sure that the board has all the information you’ve gathered.

If you’re the CEO of your own small business, consider joining or creating a CEO roundtable, a small group of local CEOs and business owners that meet regularly to network and share insights and ideas. Your CEO roundtable can be a forum for sharing information and helping each other conduct analysis. Unbiased third-party thinking can force you to think outside the box, where future opportunities exist.