Grow Your Business with a Board of Advisers

Many entrepreneurs starting a small business do not see the value of forming a board of advisers.  They have a stigma that advisory boards are only for corporations or mega  companies.  That concept is not only false, but should be thrown out with the bath water.  There are many unforeseen benefits in forming a board of experienced, unbiased people.

They are not there to always “agree” with you, they are there to look at where your business is right now and where there is room for improvement. 

Too many times we focus our energy on getting our business off the ground and lose sight of the big picture.  Advisers are there to help you get your business public and will fight for what’s best for your business growth.

To begin, assess where your business is right now and the skills of your present team. Be honest with regards to weaknesses that exist and what role a board of experienced advisers might play in turning those weaknesses around.

advisory board

Start Networking

Finding the right people to fill your board is not as difficult as you might think.  Look for people who are a part of clubs you membership with. Check out other sources within your community such as fellow church members and your chamber of commerce.

You might have heard an experienced business adviser on a local radio station or wrote an editorial in the local newspaper.  He or she might have the credentials you are seeking.  Send them a letter or if you have their email address, email them.  You want to be very precise and exacting on what you are looking for.  If you get a few people who are interested in advisory positions, they might have connections with others who’d be interested as well.

Not On My Board You Don’t!

Do not look for people who are already a part of your business.  You want outsiders who can analyze your business without bias.  Don’t drag in your attorney, accountant or your marketing guru.  You are already paying these people for the specific skills.  Never, ever bring in family and friends, they are too close and will not necessarily know what’s best!  Friends and family are more likely to agree with you, even if you are wrong.

What’s In It For Them?

Paying an adviser will depend on what you feel your business can afford and what you believe is good compensation.  You might consider $100 to 2,000 per meeting and/or  a few other options they might interested in.  Your company could ultimately raise venture capital so advisers will receive stock options.  Keep in mind, if an adviser sets his or her priorities on only getting paid, they are wrong for your business.

You must have people who are going to give something back to you.

You might find some people who are interested in your business venture and want to share their years of experience because someone helped them when they were starting off.  Take your time, talk to people, get leads from others who have grown through the help of advisers.  Meet with potential advisers so they can get a feel for your business and you can get a feel for their skills and experience.

About the Author

Taylor Stewart is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur from New York.

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