A Benefit of Having an Advisory Board: Building a Better Network

This is Part 4 of an 8 part series that dives into the eight key benefits of having an advisory board and how it can help you, the business owner, achieve greater levels of success.  If you’d like to read an overview of the other key benefits, please click here.

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As we’ve discussed in previous posts, having a trusted Advisory Board can be a useful way to plan for the future and stay focused on your business’ goals. Something that’s often missed, however, is the broader network of organizations,  business professionals and experiences that will be available to you through this group. This network begins, of course, with the handful of professionals you’ve invited onto your Advisory Board, but expands from there to include the individual networks of each member.

Unlike a Board of Directors, the informal style of an Advisory Board allows for a greater sharing of personal resources and connections. Like any relationship, the key to accessing these resources is trust, so it’s important to both select members that you know and respect, as well as take the time to nourish those relationships over time. This begins by being as forthcoming with them as possible about your business: your goals, challenges and concerns. This type of open sharing also allows your Board to think about ways in which they can help:  Do they know an executive who’s dealt with a similar challenge? Or perhaps they know a legal or financial professional who can help solve a current issue.

Earlier this year, I was on a call with a client who was having a difficult time opening new stores. The reason was due to the nature of his business, and the state regulations he needed to get through before the stores could be opened. When he brought this issue up to his Board, one of the Advisors came forward with a connection in that state who had the potential to help. Sure enough, once the introduction was made, the connection was able to work with my client to solve his development problem quickly. This was a great example of utilizing the network of the Board members, and it created real added-value for this business.

Unlike reaching out to an unknown resource for help, the relationships and introductions that come from your Advisory Board are coming from a common connection – and are therefore much more useful than if you were to reach out cold. After all, wouldn’t you be much more willing to lend a helping hand when asked by a trusted colleague or friend? It’s through those types of introductions that real value can be formed.

Having and using a Board is something I like to help business owners do. If this is something you’d like to discuss, please connect with me at your convenience.