CEOs Helping CEOs – An interview with Strategic Advisor Board member Kara James
We sat down with Kara James, a member of the Strategic Advisor Board. The Strategic Advisor Board is a collaboration of business coaches and strategists with diverse business backgrounds working together as a strategic powerhouse, aiming to help other CEOs strategically grow and scale their businesses.
Kara, thank you so much for joining us today. Can you tell us a little bit about the Strategic Advisor Board?
“Strategic Advisor Board” is a collaboration of ten business coaches and strategists who come together as a dynamic team to help businesses increase their topline revenue. We focus on smart business growth in an ever-changing environment. Collectively we have over two centuries of experience helping the business scale and grow! Our passion is helping business owners move from working for their business to making the business work for them.
How moving! What inspired you to start SAB?
It quickly became apparent that the 10 of us had something unique and special as we met to discuss our client’s businesses and run ideas by each other and how we could choose one coach to help our client in a certain area and another regarding a different challenge the client was having within their business. We addressed these challenges during meetings and over time we realized we should come together and create a strategy company of epic proportions.
It sounds like an amazing collaboration! What were the greatest challenges you faced when starting out?
Honestly, this is what is so special about the 10 of us; we had no challenges if you can imagine. This can be explained by mixing different business niches and specialties but with one common goal – get our clients results! When there was a task to be done, one by one, we happily volunteered.
I know many cannot say that! Do you feel there are fundamental differences between generations when using SBA’s services?
Overall, no. Since our service is laser-focused on working with the CEO to let go and just be the visionary of the company, not the integrator, the little bit of resistance that sometimes happens because they are used to doing mundane tasks is the same for all generations.
Very interesting, so how do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
Having an advisory board of 10 business experts and 55 professional referral partners that are the best in their business that we can easily offer to our clients at a discounted rate makes us second to none.
I can’t argue with that! Do you have any plans to extend to other countries or markets?
We currently have partners that are coaches that we are easily able to refer potential clients to that may not be a fit for our model.
So, what would you say was the most memorable experience in the entire process?
There have been many, but most recently, we had a client who was giving up and wanted out because he just couldn’t keep going. Each month his revenue was decreasing. Within one month of working with us, he had his most profitable month and is predicted to steadily increase given the strategies we helped him put into place! Needless to say, he’s not giving up.
I can relate, as it is not easy to stay motivated in the early days. What strategies do you use to overcome stress and the inevitable roadblocks for moving forward?
With 10 of us, we rarely encounter stress, we have each other for help, and we cover for each other for vacation time and personal time.
It is great to have a team that works seamlessly together. Which target market would be ideal for your service?
The wonderful thing is our service is ideal for any business within a certain revenue range. The only markets that do not work with our model are startups.
So startups beware! What has the overall feedback been from customers regarding your services?
The positive feedback has been overwhelming! These companies are now flourishing, not just surviving. The CEOs are truly elated since this is not just a change in their business but also a positive change in their lives and future plans.
That’s great to hear! What were your greatest fears when starting up or moving forward?
As with any startup, I think there can be a twinge of nervousness mixed with excitement. We all wanted it to launch successfully, of course, and perhaps the thought, though never mentioned, might have been…I hope none of us end up butting heads…to date is has been nothing short of harmonious!
Most certainly, and how have the recent economic events affected your business?
We have had to help many of our companies pivot in the past year dealing with the effects of Covid. If they had been a client before Covid, we had taught them resilience, which certainly helped.
What makes you the proudest about your service?
We are a team whose values are aligned, and we are all so passionate and care deeply for every client. We pride ourselves on helping our clients get clarity, direction, and focus and execute the strategies we put in place as fast as possible. Doing this means higher profits, higher rates of customer acquisition, and customer’ retainability.’
Certainly, something to be proud of! What advice would you give a new entrepreneur?
Start with taking imperfect action. Know your numbers. You must set goals and have a clear vision of the direction you want your business to go in. Problems occur, and things spiral out of control when the CEO loses the vision.
There will be challenges along the way, but how you handle them can be the difference between an extremely successful business and a drowning business. We teach our clients out to predict challenges and overcome them.
Sound advice! Who has been your greatest source of inspiration?
Every one of us has spoken about who has inspired us in our lives, and to get us in this position, we are truly helping others. Some of the stories brought us to tears. We all express our gratitude not only for each other regularly but for our personal life and this amazing business we are so fortunate to have built together, helping others.
Kara, thank you so much for your time. Where can our readers learn more about Strategic Advisor Board?
My pleasure. You can learn more by booking an appointment on our site at www.strategicadvisorboard.com.