Advisory Board

Is an Advisory Board Right for Me?

When establishing a business, the last thing many consider is creating an advisory board. The daily operational tasks are consuming enough - and by the time you manage your cash flow, create a sound marketing plan and establish a world-class team, there remains little time or effort left for anything else. This issue is especially prominent among small to medium-size enterprises, where resources are spread thin.

You may find yourself thinking - do I really need an advisory board? The answer is a resounding YES no matter how big or small you might be. The most successful businesses have regular access to outside advisors that provide sound advice and information to fill potential knowledge gaps. An advisory board acts as an advocate, supporter and a resource for your company.

The Advantages of an Advisory Board

An active advisory board can have many advantages for your business, including:

Diversity of Opinion

Forming an advisory board with members with different areas of expertise will provide a variety of perspectives to strengthen your company.

Sounding Board

The advisory team offers a judgment-free zone to bounce off new ideas before spending time and resources implementing them.

Unbiased Opinions

When you face a difficult situation, you may tend to approach it emotionally. Your advisory board will likely offer a practical solution without bringing emotion into the picture.

Focused Input

When you require advice or assistance in a specialized area, your advisory board can focus and find solutions for this specific issue.

Business Development

The board will provide the company with additional skills, technical expertise and knowledge that may not be found within current staff members.

Preparation for Board of Directors

Some companies may form an advisory board before deciding on the appropriate Board of Directors. This will help identify a group that works effectively and cohesively towards the benefit of the company.

How Do I Start?

Many experts suggest the optimal size of an advisory board is between 3 to 5 members. They also suggest that having too many advisors can make decision-making more difficult. Your board should be comprised of advisors who are experts in different facets of the business and others that understand the big picture of your industry. When recruiting advisors, it’s essential to start by looking at the holes in your business that need to be filled. If you need some extra help in finance or are lacking marketing expertise, this is a great way to access resources that will build your business.

The best approach is first tapping into your own network (personal and professional) to find individuals with the requisite skills and expertise. You should consider approaching professionals such as your accountant and/or lawyer to see if they are willing to contribute. You may also know people that have been successful in business that are willing to lend you their knowledge and expertise. By looking for people that are willing to contribute to your success you may well find It won’t cost you a lot of money to get access to the expertise you need. There are likely to be many people that want to see you succeed and all you have to do is ask them!

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