How to Create a Business Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Those of you who know me, also know that am also very active in the community and sit on several advisory boards. In addition to the personal satisfaction I receive when the organizations upon which I serve help others within the community; I am also privileged to sit in boardrooms with some of the brightest and most successful people in Las Vegas. Even though we, as an advisory board is there to help that business succeed, I never fail to learn something that will also help my business as well.

Advisory Boards work because they offer real world experience and views that are not clouded by the daily workings of the business. What you might call a Google Earth pint of view that allows them to zoom in from above to see the surroundings. The following are some points that will help you form your own advisory board.

The board selection is important, you need a variety of opinions for a board to be effective. If you were to select the board, you’d likely have friends that agree with you. The best way is to reach out to a respected member of the community and ask that person to recruit the members and run the meeting. If properly organized, it is likely that you will have never met any of the board members before the first meeting. Everyone will have fresh eyes, and there will likely be constructive disagreements.

Develop an agenda that includes a summary of the business, current financial status, strategy, and goals. This is something that you as the business owner are most qualified to present, and it allows the board members to hear your presentation style and perhaps learn about your management persona. Keep it brief and under 15 minutes.

Allow your meeting chair to prompt discussion. You’re looking for feedback. This is a great time to remember the “Two Ears, One Mouth” lesson that your mother taught you as a youngster. Listen and take careful note of what you’re being told. You aren’t going to like everything you hear, but that’s the whole idea.

These board members also have businesses of their own to manage so be respectful of their time and try to keep the meeting to 90 minutes.

Depending on the size and type of business, some advisory boards are offered a honoraria for their service, if that is the case, have a check ready for each member at the end of the meetings, along with sincere handshake and thank you.

If you think that an advisory board might help your company, call me, I would be glad to assist.

Your Partner in Success,

David Cabral