March 03, 2015

How to Establish an Advisory Board for Your Company

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An Advisory Board can be the single most effective tool for your company to grow, overcome challenges, and penetrate new markets. Most CEOs are unaware how simple setting up and running an Advisory Board really is, or that even companies that have formal Boards of Directors also have Advisory Boards on a range of topics. Never before have so many executives been interested in serving as company advisors, creating a wealth of talent just waiting to help your company with their insights, resources, and connections.
Setting up an advisory board is as simple as follows:

  1. Identify the type of executives who could add the most value as an advisor – a certain position (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, VC, Lawyer), a specific industry, or someone even with specific connections that would be beneficial to your company.
  2. Send them a brief email expressing your interest in having them as an advisor and asking for a brief phone call to explore the potential fit.
  3. In the call, see what experience they have had being an advisor, have they done any board member education, how familiar they are with your industry, challenges and opportunities they could help with, and how they could add immediate value to your company.
  4. Conduct quarterly meetings via conference call – usually 1-2 hours, circulate an agenda ahead of time, and you’ll be amazed at the impact these calls can have on helping your company achieve new levels of success.

Never before has it been so easy to establish an Advisory Board.  They can cover any issue your company is facing, or set up an Advisory Board for a specific initiative, such as breaking into a new market, landing a specific type of customer, or any other specific challenge or opportunity your company is facing. Many companies even establish Advisory Boards for a specific executive at their company, such as a CFO getting insights and advice from other CFOs, serving as a sounding board and guidance for how to succeed in their position.

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