Consider an advisory board your chance to build your dream executive team without having to hire anyone. A good advisory board could be a game-changer for your business. Christine Comaford, CEO of California based business accelerator Mighty Ventures, shares the process for getting and keeping advisors on your board:
1. Define your advisory board member profiles. This is a list of skills and connections you want advisors to have. You want advisors who will help you build your business as well as mentor you as an executive. Aim for 8-10 people.
2. Determine your expectations of each adviser. You will want to interact with them on a regular basis. Start out by asking for 15 minutes per quarter. Ask their opinion, ask for advice. Don’t be greedy. Do be grateful.
3. Create your pitch and comp package. What’s in it for them? Focus on the “soft” benefits first, as you likely won’t have tangible financial benefits to offer just yet. You should be able to explain the opportunity to them in five minutes or less. If you have stock, offer it.
4. Brainstorm your target list. Ask your friends, colleagues, mentors, vendors, and financiers if they know people who meet the profile you seek. Ask for personal introductions to your target advisors.
5. Seek out your targeted advisors and recruit them. Perhaps they’re scheduled to speak on panels, at bookstores, at a conference. Go find them. Once you give your pitch, they will likely want to know more. Bring a concise, compelling and complete business plan. A pitch must only serve to hook them.
6. Celebrate, incorporate, communicate. After celebrating your great good fortune in securing some rocking advisors, incorporate them into your company’s communication flow. Add their names and bios to your website, set up an e-mail list for monthly or quarterly high-level advisory-board communication (10 bullet points per message, max), and plan advisory-board conference calls twice per year.
Remember: Life equals the people that you meet plus what you create with them. Let’s start meeting and creating!
Want to learn more about creating your dream advisory board? Attend RIC Centre’s Breakfast with the Experts Speaker event Sept 15. Click here for details.
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