When Do You Need a Board of Advisors?

When Do You Need a Board of Advisors?

Prior to today’s digital era, most customer service and inside sales reps manually entered all of their orders. There were errors and omissions, processes moved slowly, people became bogged down in onerous methods, and productivity diminished. With computerization, everything seems to have become more streamlined, faster, and

As a business owner, it’s not uncommon to feel like every major decision should be made by you and you alone. Because you’re “the boss,” ultimate responsibility for what happens to the Company each day and over the long term is yours. Unfortunately, it’s not sustainable to be the sole person making the heavy decisions, nor is it wise to think that important issues cannot be discussed with others.

What is there to do? If this is your situation it may make good business sense to form a Board of Advisors.

A Board of Advisors is an informal group comprised of individuals that can help you with business issues including financing, marketing, sales, production, and operations. This group can help you to make better decisions that will allow you to run the Company more efficiently. Because it is informal you have a great deal of freedom in how you set it up.

Here are some things to consider about if you are thinking about forming a Board of Advisors:

Have a Clear Plan for What You Want the Board to Do
Your Board of Advisors can help you in many different areas. Rather than spread their advising talents thin, you want to set a clear plan for what they should help you accomplish. Once you know your needs and goals, your Board will understand the expectations and task at hand. With a clear plan you will be able to identify the best individuals based on their expertise and reputation. Most importantly, select people that you trust and with whom you have a strong rapport. You will be sharing sensitive, perhaps even confidential information, so you don’t want any doubts as to their integrity while assisting your plan.

Set the Parameters for the Board
After defining expectations for the Board, you must then decide how many people you want on the Board and how frequently they will meet with you. The optimal size, in my opinion, is between (6) six and (8) eight individuals, which is manageable enough for all to attend regularly and even with a few no-shows there could still be a worthwhile meeting. With regard to the meeting frequency and length of the meeting, you must be considerate of your Board’s schedules and try to have meetings no more than once a quarter and no longer than (3) hours to cover all topics. While you may wish to meet more often, getting together every (4) four or (8) eight weeks can prove to be burdensome.

Provide Networking Benefits for Board Members
Advisory Board members do not usually receive compensation for their participation, yet there are other benefits to offer for their service. In particular is the opportunity to network and share ideas with other successful business professionals. The “informal” networking can open the door for business collaboration and a chance for Board members to enhance and increase their own business prospects as a result of the Board meetings.

Once you know what you wish to accomplish, the next step will be to ask people to join your Board. Provide as much information as possible so they will know just what they are getting into and remember that most people will be flattered even if they are not able to participate.

It may take a little time to get this organized, so start now, especially if you’d like to have this in place by the start of 2018. It might be the best action you take for the New Year!

Read More:
8 Steps to Creating an Effective Advisory Board

November 3, 2017