Many consider the ability to work remotely a luxury or perk. But the unprecedented events of the past few weeks have served to highlight the importance of working outside a traditional office setting. That’s where more and more workers are turning to the home office, gig economy style work supported by companies like AdvisoryCloud.
While many people simply can’t work remotely due to job requirements, professionals with significant industry experience can and should consider working as remote advisors. This unique opportunity allows professionals to be hired as advisors to corporate execs as well as startups, all while working 100 percent remotely. It’s mutually beneficial for each party. Professionals get paid to lend their expertise to business leaders who need guidance from a qualified third party.
What is an advisor?
Advisors help businesses — start-ups or existing — achieve success by giving advice, anticipating problems and recommending strategies. Advisors aren’t taskmasters. They don’t do the actual nuts and bolts of the work.
Rather, they provide guidance and resources for CEO and other C-suite leaders. Ideally, advisors serve in a proactive capacity rather than a reactionary role. That’s not to say business would never consult an advisor after a problem arises, but advisors offer the most benefit when they can help a business get out in front of a challenge. Whether over the phone, on a video conference or via email, advisors offer insights that allow execs to think critically about issues facing their businesses.
The Pervasiveness of Remote Work
Due to social distancing and “safer-at-home” mandates related to Covid-19, more people are working from home than ever before. That number will decrease as the crisis abates in the coming months. Nonetheless, the landscape of how and where people work will look much different than it did even a few weeks ago.
That’s not to say people weren’t working from home before the pandemic. Between 2005 and 2017, there was 159 percent growth in remote work, meaning more and more people sought an improved work/life balance by working from home either all the time or as their schedule allowed. Technology platforms such as G-Suite, Slack and Outlook have allowed this paradigm shift from the cubicle to the home office.
The gig economy is also allowing businesses to seek expertise from specialized professionals. A small business may not be able to employ a highly trained expert in artificial intelligence, but perhaps it can afford someone with that skill set on an as-needed basis. By bridging knowledge gaps within organizations, businesses benefit from the expertise they may not need on a full-time basis. In fact, since highly specialized experts are readily available through the gig economy, businesses have greater access to subject-matter experts than ever before.
Benefits of Becoming a Remote Advisor
For experienced professionals, working as a remote advisor is a no brainer. It allows professionals to earn additional income while building an impressive portfolio that displays their breadth of his or hew knowledge and skill. Remote advising can be done on a full-time basis or only when a professional wants to do it. For instance, serving as a remote advisor allows professionals to continue to work during slower periods. The Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of a time when professionals could offer expertise to other businesses in their industry. Changes in the regulatory environment might also cause industry slow-downs, during which time a professional could take on additional advisory clients.
Even professionals who must work in a traditional setting — such as a hospital or clinic — can serve as remote advisors. Many tech companies seek out the expertise and guidance of medical professionals who can help them as they develop devices, apps or other assets.
Professionals with experience in virtual private networks and video software platforms also stand to be utilized heavily by businesses that seek to increase their remote work capacity. Helping businesses remain productive while giving employees the flexibility to work from home is quickly becoming a priority for both large and small companies. Even after the work-from-home mandates are lifted, business execs will most certainly look for ways to implement technology making remote work seamless and efficient.
But these are by no means the only industries where professional advisors are needed. Advisors are needed to help businesses with scaling, debt restructuring, trademarks, equity valuation and more. Industry experts are also needed to guide businesses towards success.
Get Started as a Remote Advisor
Becoming an advisor to a business of any size doesn’t just happen. Word-of-mouth connections often forge relationships between advisor and exec. But business leaders are always on the lookout for a fresh voice and a different approach. That’s why there are services that offer directories of experts like UpWork or AdvisoryCloud which is better for connecting you to the people that are actively seeking advisors to help their companies.
For example, AdvisoryCloud connects business leaders with a single advisor or a team of advisors. Advisors can be hired by the hour, per project or on a retainer basis. The platform allows an advisor to post a profile that outlines his or her expertise and the topics he or she can advise on. Company leaders can browse the profiles and invites the advisor to serve on an Advisory Board or inquire about specific services. The AdvisoryCloud team will help new advisors determine positions that might be right for their skill set. Once a member of an Advisory Board, advisors receive Quarterly Advisor Briefing from the company CEO with a request for specific feedback for the upcoming quarter.
This is similar to services like UpWork which offer the same types of opportunities, and provide chat and contract negotiation systems to protect both the advisor and the company when it comes to payment and tracking hours.