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A great business can’t be built alone. Everyone needs help one way or another. No matter what your business, industry or business age, you will always lean on others for advice or even just for an opinion on something [because you don’t know what you don’t know].
So don’t go at it alone … why not reap the benefits of a trusted advisory board? An advisory board is a collection of individuals that come together to provide advice and insights to business owners and managers with the objective of making better business decisions. Now, this isn’t to be confused with a ‘Corporate Board’ of directors who establish company policies, set and approve budgets etc. An advisory board can offer you flexible and unbinding advice that you as the business owner, director or manager are free to choose whether or not to implement the advice.
Benefits of an advisory board include;
Let’s explore some of the key things you need to consider when setting up your advisory board:
1. SET CLEARLY DEFINED OBJECTIVES
Before you start calling upon people to form your advisory board, you must clearly define the objectives of the advisory board upfront. These objectives can be defined anyway you like, but the focus is usually on bigger picture discussions or problem solving around the implementation of strategic plans. That said, I have seen them work well to simply support management as they implement growth strategies or to improve the managers awareness and understanding of their business. The objectives can be whatever you want them to be:
2. LAY DOWN THE RULES
I suggest documenting the rules of the advisory board. Things like;
One really important rule is to not waste the time of the members of the advisory board. Irrespective of whether they are paid or not, no one likes their time wasted, so make sure you’re organised!
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Identify the gaps in the existing resources available and then find the right people for your advisory board. Making sure you have the right people for you, your business and your problem is critical. They can be friends and family, but look for some new blood as well, especially if you’re after some new ideas and experiences.
Here are some things to consider when choosing people for your advisory board:
4. SET OUT THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR ADVISORY BOARD MEETINGS
Preparation is key! Make sure you have an agenda set out before you hold the advisory board meetings. This way you can address the topics, seek advice and hold discussions without going off track and it turning into a social affair.
A few things you should think about when setting up the structure:
5. YOUR PHYSCIAL PREMISES MATTER
Where you physically hold your advisory board meetings matter too. Don’t meet at a coffee shop or restaurant – they are too noisy and there are too many distractions. Here are some other tips to make sure physical premises are right for a successful advisory board meetings;
Having an advisory board can be a great asset to you and your business. Think of it as a collaboration tool - and true collaboration can deliver incredible results and growth for your business.
LET’S START THE DISCUSSION ...
Over to you, have you already started implementing an advisory board for your business or already have one in place? What effect has it had on your business success?
At businessDEPOT we love growing businesses, and one way we can do that is by helping you successfully plan and implement an advisory board for you business. Of course, if someone from our office would fill a skill or experience gap in your business, we would love to help with that too. If you wish to discuss more about how we can help you along the way, just give us a call on 07 3193 3000.