On a recent mentor walks I was asked by three female entrepreneurs on when and how to start an advisory board.
Lets start with the Why have an advisory board? Here are are the reasons for starting an advisory board:
- 1. Broader skill set of advice ie Governance, Risk, Investment. Can also be achieved by contracting specialist advice
- 2. Transi
tion from owner to employing a Managing Director
- 3. Accelerate growth of the business
- 4. Expand the network
- 5. Raise the profile, by association with the advisory board members, tap into their network
- 6. You recognise you are limiting the growth of the business by your thinking:here is the sum
When should you start the advisory board?
- When the business is growing and you as an owner need advice on what to do next?
- When you about to make a step change in the business?
- You have a plan for growth and need advice or support on how to achieve it?
How do you go about establishing the advisory board? Finding the right people that compliment you is key:
- Look at the gaps in skills in your organisation
- Are the gaps in diversity?
- Look at advisory members with a network which will help you drive business
- What do you need for the future growth, does the advisory member understand what is needed to make that step change.
- Are you prepared to pay the advisory board? This will determine you can attract.
- Ensure they have completed the Australian Institute of company directors course and exam
- Consider mentors who have guided you through the early stages of setting up the business.
Here are all the organisations that advertise for advisory board members:
https://www.womenonboards.net/en-au/home: paid and unpaid
https://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/ paid and Not for profit(NFP) unpaid only
Also ask your network, they are probably already supporting you, mentoring, making introductions and advising.
Payment or non-payment? Many execs who are looking to transition will support you for nothing to begin with, but as the business grows then be prepared to pay for their time. Also be prepared that the people you bring on to the advisory board initially may not be right for the long haul.