A brand new business is like a brand new baby. The journey of parenting an infant and growing a startup is strikingly similar in that both experiences require your attention, time and energy — but you can’t be everywhere at once.
For entrepreneurs, there’s no better example than building a business that requires excellent leadership for it to thrive. Entrepreneurs often look for outside guidance to gain a better perspective on business operations and management. One of the best ways is using an advisory board.
1. Hire The Right Team
Start your advisory board search early, especially if you intend to use them during critical decision-making. This way, you can ensure that each member understands their role and is on the same page as everyone else throughout the process. Once you’ve found the right team, make sure to periodically give your advisory board members updates on how they are helping out. This is an excellent way to continue engaging with your company.
2. Commit To Having Fun!
As CEO of Beats by Dr Dre, Noel Lee has built one of the most successful headphone empires globally, and he is no stranger to the importance of a good advisory board. “One thing I would recommend as an entrepreneur is to enjoy what you’re doing,” said Lee. “Have fun with it.”
3. Grow With Them
Once you’ve found the ideal team members, don’t be afraid to promote from inside the company. Just as you should expect your advisory board members to grow with your company, you too should be willing to let them help shape the growth of your business. This means being open to their feedback and suggestions, as well as allowing them to act on them.
4. Set The Right Tone
The first meeting with an advisory board is critical in establishing the tone of your entire advisory board relationship. Take time to plan without micromanaging, and make sure to stay open-minded about their ideas. If you want them to be engaged in your company, you have to make them feel like they are a part of it. The more involved they are, the more value they will provide.
5. Let People Help
Advisory board members aren’t just for sounding off ideas — they can also be an excellent resource for getting things done. Give them specific tasks you need help with and take the lead on those initiatives. This will show that you trust their expertise and allow them to feel more engaged in your company.
6. Define The Role Of An Advisory Board
One of the greatest mistakes entrepreneurs may make is not actively defining the role of their advisory board. This may lead to chaos and frustration on both sides. Take the time to spell out everyone’s expectations and ensure everyone is on the same page. This will help you prevent any misunderstandings in the future.
7. Put It In Writing
Don’t underestimate the power of a written agreement with your advisory board members. Having an outline of expectations from each party provides clarity and security for everyone involved. Not only will this ensure that you’re all on the same page, but it can help to fix any future conflicts.
8. Celebrate The Success
Just as you should expect your advisory board members to be invested in your company, you too should be invested in theirs. Celebrate their successes and help them promote their accomplishments. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in their well-being and not just using them for their expertise.
Advisory boards are opportunities for entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level. They can provide significant benefits if they engage with you and your company. Make sure that you choose your team members wisely, commit to having fun, grow with them, set the tone for success, make them feel valued and help each other succeed. There is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for creating the perfect advisory board, but following these tips will help you create a board that is tailored to your specific needs.