Advisory boards – A powerful management tool for businesses of all sizes

Hamish Mexted Business Strategy & Planning

What is an advisory board?

An advisory board is a group of people who advise a business owner on developing their business. It’s different to a statutory board of directors because its advice is non-binding, and advisory board itself has no legal responsibilities.

The level of involvement varies from business to business. Some advisory boards are hands-on, meeting once a month or more, while others are less involved in the daily grind. These may meet three or four times a year and focus on the broader strategic picture for a business.

How could one help my business?

The main advantage of an advisory board is that it will help you make better business decisions. They provide a formal setting to discuss issues and receive advice, from independent people who have knowledge of your business or industry. The benefit of having independent people is that they have no vested interest in your business and won’t get emotionally caught up in everything that’s happening around you.

What should an advisory board look like?

At the outset, when putting your advisory board together it’s important to consider what skills, knowledge, experience and networks will bring value to your business.  Primarily people are chosen because of their specialist business skills, but it is also important to consider other attributes people could bring to your business (like their business network).

Once you have a clear idea of the attributes you’re looking for, talk to people you trust. These people might be your existing business advisors (like lawyer or accountant), or your suppliers, business colleagues or a close friend about whether they know anyone who may be suitable.

When it comes to choosing the number of people on your board, there’s no hard and fast rule. That said, generally two or three people (aside from yourself) is sufficient for a small business.

If you’d like to discuss how an advisory board could help your business please contact Hamish on 04 212 4977 or [email protected].