Corporate Governance: who needs it and why do it?

Sarah Stowe

“I only have a small business. Surely corporate governance doesn’t apply to me!”

While corporate governance is a crucial part of managing a growing and successful business, many small business owners overlook the need for and benefits from corporate governance.

There can be major advantages to corporate governance: in times of success and expansion, when you are trying to fund further growth through capital raising strategies and of course when you are preparing to sell your business.

What exactly is corporate governance?

Quite simply it is the system by which you manage and direct your business. It refers to the decision making and control you exercise over the business, and can greatly influence how your business objectives are set and achieved.

It is not so much about operations and the everyday activities of your business but the decision-making.

Critical questions to be addressed include:

*Who exactly are our customers and how can we best compete?

* What capital is needed to fund the business?

*Are we ready to expand and take advantage of growth?

*What’s our succession policy?

Having well-considered formal policies in place can help small business owners to run their businesses more efficiently and consistently in their actions.

So where do you start?

Good governance is based on the relationship between managing/lessening risk and the objectives and success of your organisation.

So how can your business avoid the pitfalls of insufficient governance?

In a Corporate-Governance Whitepaper, Baybridge Advisory outlines the foundations of good governance, suggests further critical questions to consider about your business, and highlights the steps to take to adopt best market practices.