Need an expert point of view? Sound out your advisory board

Istock 000005450480xsmallExpand your team and your knowledge base by building an advisory board that will help both you and your business. The members of this informal group, chosen by you, can provide guidance on how to run your business as well as serve as mentors.

Do you have all the resources and experience required to make every decision? Expert advice can be useful when you need more than your instincts to guide you. If you are unable to make an objective choice, an advisory board can help with some tough decisions. This sort of good governance can also be handy when it comes to attracting investors.

Your advisory board can:

The size of your advisory board should reflect the size of your business. Staggering the advisors' terms will constantly refresh the board.

How to build the board:

The combination of experience and fresh perspective can result in valuable feedback. This, in turn, can lead to improved productivity, lower risk and a stronger bottom line. Keep in mind that an advisory board does not have the legal responsibilities of a board of directors. However, having one is good preparation for the more formal structure of a board of directors later on.

From time to time, evaluate your advisory board's performance to make sure it is really helping to make your business more successful. For more information on advisory boards and dealing with those at the helm of your team, see our sections on Governance and partnerships and Management leadership.


Posted by Precious on October 15, 2012
Good stuff. I recently heard a little nugget of wisdom: from an investor stand point, the idea is worth around 8%, developing the product is worth about 25-30% and the capital to fund it all is worth the balance. The problem that comes into play is that the person with the idea thinks these numbers should be reversed. Seek people with experience to help you get your perceptions and expectations in line with reality, the sooner the better.

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