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Startup Leadership: How to Select Advisory Board Members

Here's why an advisory board can be a great step forward for any startup — you just have to make sure you have the right people on your...

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During each stage of your company’s growth, you will improve upon processes, hire new employees, and make changes to your overall strategy.

You may decide to upgrade to a new office space or even step away from daily operations. However, one of the most important steps is taken when you are ready to form an advisory board.

While you are likely used to running the show, an advisory board can be a great step forward for any startup — you just have to make sure you have the right people on your team.

Benefits of Creating an Advisory Board

You may think to yourself, “I have a mentor … so why would I need an advisory board?” Undoubtedly, your mentor(s) have provided you with invaluable advice throughout your startup phase. However, forming an advisory board can provide your company with even more substantial benefits including, bu not limited to:

 

Experience

If you are a young entrepreneur, this is one thing you don’t have. A group of people to consult — who have been there before — brings wisdom that can only be gained over years of business experience. Combined experience can help you make your resources go further, with less backpedaling.

 

Clout

Having respectable people involved with your startup makes your entire organization look good. By partnering with individuals who are already well-established, you can solidify your public image and make new connections. You are always building your brand, and the association with your advisory board members can do a lot of good from a social proof and branding perspective.

 

Tangents

Members of an advisory board often help develop new ideas. A board can give you access to a variety of people with different experiences, industry knowledge, and opinions. They will think of things you never could have come up with on your own.

 

Sounding Board

Once you establish an official advisory board, you have a consistent, reliable group of people to turn to for advice. You can take your ideas to trustworthy people who know what they are talking about and truly care about the success of your company.

How to Find the Right Board Members

Your advisory board should be made up of a variety of people you trust who will help you reach specific goals. For example, we have eight people on our board and they all have their own areas of expertise.

Creating a board with a diverse array of knowledge and expertise can also streamline board communications. For example, you can simply email one or two subject-matter experts with specific questions without wasting other board members’ time.

Once you know the specific areas of your business that would benefit from advisors, you can form a shortlist of people to contact. If you have already sought advice from certain individuals, you should have a group of experts to add to your list already.

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