How to set up a board of advisers to help you run your small business
A good board of advisers will help you avoid problems and create more opportunities.
Today I want to talk to you about a board of advisers. Imagine what it would be like if you had a 5-10 people who are serious business professionals, who knew more than you did, who are expert at things that you struggle at, who cared about your business, who cared about you, who would come together as a group of people just to help you solve problems or avoid problems. How absolutely wonderful that would be for you? Well, that’s exactly what a board of advisers does. It’s a tool that if you use it correctly, would literally transform your business. Would you like to know more? Well lets dive right in. . .
A board of advisers offers a diversity of benefits that every business can use.
Benefit #1, problem avoidance and problem solvers, these are experienced professionals. They’ve been around the block and they’ve learned a few things.
Benefit #2, they can provide an objective opinion. These advisers aren’t married to you and they’re not connected to your business other than this advisory board. They will be, hopefully, excruciatingly honest with you. And that can be a really wonderful benefit.
Benefit #3, experience, experience is a great teacher; learning from someone else’s experience is the best. Now imagine yourself encircled by people who have these benefits to offer you and your business. advisers who are willing to expend time and energy with you, helping your business grow. Can you imagine what it’ll do for your business?
The power of a board of advisers is that it allows you to multiply your assets
Benefit #4, credibility, surrounding yourself with a board of advisers that enhances your credibility, that’s power. You not only get to pick their brain, you not only get the best of their advice, but you also get to use their credibility.
The power of a board of advisers is that it allows you to multiply your assets; it allows you to leverage the skills and attributes of outside professionals with your existing skills. In most cases, we have to pay for these services. We have to go and spend some big money to get people to help us with our business. Well, with your board of advisers, you get that for almost nothing.
What a Board of Advisers Is and Is Not
Don’t confuse a board of advisers and a board of directors. Most of us have heard of the term ‘board of directors’ and they sometimes confuse that with the board of advisers. Lets explore the real difference between the two.
Directors are elected to an office and they’re appointed to serve for a particular term. And they get compensated for there time. Which means they have a legal responsibility as well as a moral duty to do the best job they possibly can do. Directors usually have a stake in the
company so there may be legal consequences for their actions.
A board of advisers is way different. Boards of advisers are unpaid. They don’t have any legal responsibility. They still have moral obligations to give the best advice possible. This simple difference, that they don’t have a legal liability means that they’re not going to be sued for the advice and the counsel they give you. That difference alone makes these two boards extraordinarily different.
A mastermind group is another term that we might be familiar with. A board of advisers is different than a mastermind group because your board of advisers has come together for the sole purpose of helping your business. A mastermind group is a group of people coming together to help each other where they all expect to get something out of in return.
Again with a board of advisers, they’re all coming together to help you so you can imagine the tremendous power you’re going to be able to exert by having all of these people focused on your business.
The People You Want
Here are some items to consider should you get ready to put together perhaps your very first board of advisers. I would suggest you leave it fairly small. I tell my students not more than 5-7 members. As your experience and comfort grows so can your board of advisers. By keeping the board small, it becomes a nice unified group. It becomes a group that you get to know them and quite candidly, they get to know you. And so all of you can focus your effort and energy on the one thing that’s most important . . . your business.
I also want you to choose members who are not yes men. You want people who will challenge you. This is tricky for some of us we want to get the people who will agree with us. We may want to surround ourselves with people who will say yes all the time, that’s your job not
board’s job. A good board of advisers will challenge you from time to time. I’m not telling you to go find some butt-head who doesn’t agree with anything you’re doing, far from it. However you want somebody who’s not afraid of you. You want somebody who’s professional. You
want somebody who will tell you his or her opinion. But they don’t always have to take their opinion but I do want you to be able to listen to it. And if you surround yourself with a bunch of yes people, that may not happen and then what is the point of your board of advisers.
You want these people to be supportive of your objectives. You want people who have your best interest in mind. One last thought, you want to find the best people you can for your business, not the easiest ones, not the ones that’ll say yes the first time you ask them, but the ones who could make the biggest differences in your business. If you constitute a good board of advisers, you are halfway home. A good board of advisers will literally transform your capacity as a business owner.
When you surround yourself with people who have credentials, people who know more about business than you, imagine how much credibility that lends your business and credibility is power. When we borrow money, when we create new relationships, when we do almost
anything in business, people are looking at you to see if we you are credible.
A good board of advisers will help you avoid problems by being people who have experienced things in the business world. They can help you avoid some of the snares of business management and growth. If we have a good, trusted board of advisers they can help us avoid some of the problems as well as solve existing problems.
When you get into a problem now, you have the advantage, you have a group of trusted advisers that you can share your problems with. It’s not a place where you get to vent, it doesn’t
get to be a place where you just get to beat yourself in the breast and tell everybody how cool you are. But it is a place where you get to associate with people who are every bit as successful of
you. And they’ve also seen some of the very problems that you are now facing So they bring to you this capacity, not only help you avoid problems, but also to solve problems. So get people who will complement your weaknesses, not play to your strengths.
Questions – If you have questions leave me a comment or send me an email.
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