An Advisory Board is a powerful way to grow the success of any business and despite what some people may say, no business is “too small” to benefit from having an Advisory Board. Better still, setting up an Advisory Board does not need to be a difficult or costly process.
You can think of an Advisory Board as a think tank for your business. Your board members will act as a sounding board for your ideas when needed but more importantly, keep you focused on your business plan and what matters most for your business.
The Advantages for Small Business of Having an Advisory Board
Having an Advisory Board for your small business or not-for-profit organisation delivers many benefits including:
- Providing support and challenge – your Advisory Board is there to support you and ensure the well-being of your business. They will listen and support you in the difficult times and
challenge you in the good times.
- Keeping you on-track – having an Advisory Board gives you a higher level of accountability to complete the items on your business plan. The board will also keep you from pursuing activities that will not directly benefit your business.
- Enhance innovation – having your board members share with you their perspective on your business and initiatives that have worked for them will help you to move from the routine of ‘business as usual’ to embracing change and innovation as a competitive advantage for your organisation.
- Allowing you to work smarter – an Advisory Board is a brains trust that will help you find ways to work more efficiently and effectively in your business. They will also challenge you to be a better leader, to delegate more and build a team around you to help your business grow.
- Opening doors – good board member candidates will have a significant network of contacts that can bring in new business opportunities or assist with projects to increase the chances of success.
How Big Should an Advisory Board Be?
For a small business, an Advisory Board of two to three people is fine. They will meet with you on a monthly or quarterly basis and use a formal meeting agenda to ensure the best results. Some businesses will use a business coach or leadership coach to provide this external perspective, advice and accountability for their business.
Do I Need to Pay Board Members?
You should cover expenses for your board members and offer some refreshments at the board meetings. Paying your board members an honorarium or allowance for their time shows you are serious and will increase your (and their) motivation to get the most value from your time together.
Where Can I Find Board Members?
Think about the people you admire the most in your network of contacts that you could see yourself being able to develop a trusted relationship with. Consider recently retired managers, executives or business owners that you know who could share their knowledge with you. It never hurts to ask and you might be surprised how willing people are to help.
Act Now… If you are serious about your success that is!
Having an Advisory Board will propel you and your business to the next level of business success. As we say at Rapport Leadership, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring your team!”