Many entrepreneurs shy away from asking for help, especially, first-time entrepreneurs. They feel in order to maintain control (a.k.a. full ownership) of their company; they must be in charge of every aspect of their business. However, this mentality is often what kills a start up. Here’s why…
No business is too small to benefit from a board of advisors. It is a powerful management tool that every sized business, small or large, should not be without. Establishing a Board of Advisors is cost-effective way to gain critical expertise and skills in areas outside the company’s core competency. Advisory boards can contribute to innovation and the bottom line. For a start up, it can be the difference between success and failure.
Here 13 ways a Board of Advisors can assist an entrepreneur or start up:
- Analyze market conditions.
- Recommend technological innovation.
- Suggest product or service changes.
- Forecast trends.
- Provide a set of “fresh eyes” for the organization.
- Source of ideas or trends.
- Give honest advice.
- No axe to grind and will be on your side.
- Be an inexpensive alternative to a formal Board of Directors.
- Provide a level of talent they could not normally afford.
- Support entrepreneur so they don’t navigate unfamiliar waters alone.
Tip: For Effective Board of Advisors Usage, Honesty is Key
To use a Board of Advisors effectively, entrepreneurs and their management team must be open and frank with the Advisory Board, sharing both hopes and fears. They won’t be able to advise you properly if you hold back.
When Should You Create a Board of Advisors? Day One of Your Business Existence!
Experience shows, every day that goes by without a Board of Advisors lowers your odds of success. No single person can know everything, and ad hoc, on the fly advice can be worse than none. An Advisory Board that meets regularly and gets to know you and your business can provide the management expertise you need to avoid shoals of mistakes and set your business on a true course.
Bonus: Board of Advisors Can Create Competitive Advantage
Additionally, a Board of Advisors composed of specialists, generalists or critical thinkers from diverse backgrounds can expose the positive or negative aspects of major decisions. This can be a competitive advantage and help build a company’s visibility, credibility, and revenues.
Your Next Step – Get Some Help Starting a Board of Advisors
I wouldn’t be writing about this important topic if I didn’t want to help companies like yours. Feel free to contact me to discuss your situation. At the very least, I can provide some suggestions on how you can get started. Smart entrepreneurs know when to ask for help!
What other ways can a Board of Advisors assist entrepreneurs and start-up companies? Share your thoughts below.
P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO? Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.” Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.