Importance of Advisory Boards | How to Build a Successful Advisory Board for Startups?

Bharat L. Vora Bharat L. Vora
Jul 27, 2022 8 min read
Importance of Advisory Boards | How to Build a Successful Advisory Board for Startups?

The role of advisory boards is crucial for any company. For startups, it is of much greater significance since you might want to get the best advice in leading your business towards success. It consists of a team of individuals who carry relevant industry experience and knowledge in helping companies in making the right decision.

This group of individuals offers advice and guidance to the managers or directly to the owner so they are aware of the risks and rewards before signing up for a business venture. It can be challenging for young entrepreneurs to look after all the aspects of the business and come up with the best idea.

A qualified and experienced advisory team will share their knowledge and innovative ideas and provide valuable feedback and a new perspective on the matters of the business.

Importance of Advisory Boards for Startups

How to Build a Successful Advisory Board for Startups?

How did Pebble Watch Founder Eric Migicovsky compensate his startup advisors with equity?

Importance of Advisory Boards for Startups

Advisory boards are essential for startups not only to provide guidance but also to help a company in defining its ultimate goals and objectives. They have years of industry experience in providing the necessary strategies to achieve their goals. They have enough knowledge to provide you with the best input related to crucial business decisions.

The role of advisory boards is to look upon the matters of the business and ensure that everything is on the right track. These individuals will assist you in entering the market with your new products and services and gradually work towards building a brand name for your company. They provide the startups with critical input and insights that help them shape their product, enhance their model and build a stronger company.

Furthermore, an advisory board is essential for every startup, but it’s your responsibility to ensure that this board is diverse and composed of professionals who hold relevant industry experience. It’s not important to make a group of the best accountant, attorneys, or marketing experts, but any individual who has enough experience, has a deep interest in your company and can provide insightful advice is a good match for your team.

Here are some factors that will help you to understand the importance of advisory boards and how they can help startups to grow and succeed:

Size of the Global Consulting Market from 2015 to 2020
Size of the Global Consulting Market from 2015 to 2020

Brings Industry Experience and Knowledge

An advisory board consist of a group of professional individuals who have been working in the industry for years, gathering experience and knowledge that can help a startup to grow and make its way in the market. These individuals are experts in their field, and when you bring them together, you will be able to make much better decisions and achieve set targets much easier.

In other words, the board is composed of industry experts who bring a wealth of experience that can be leveraged to inform the venture’s direction in establishing unique business goals and serving the local community more effectively.

Provides Insight Into Complex Business Affairs

Running a business is not easy. It is essential to make the right judgement at the right time considering all the factors beforehand. For an entrepreneur, it’s not possible to carry experience and knowledge in all fields. This is where advisory boards can be helpful for startups, as they can provide insights into all kinds of complex business affairs and assist them with strategic planning.

These groups of individuals who have expertise in different fields can help fill the voids found within a startup by providing insight into areas that are commonly misunderstood by less experienced entrepreneurs. They can assist in crucial decision-making of the business like financial planning, handling legal affairs, providing innovative ideas, strategies for marketing, etc.

Help in Establishing a Business Model

An advisory board also plays an important role in setting up the business model of a company. Many entrepreneurs often face this difficulty in their business. Establishing an appropriate business model is necessary as it determines the functioning of a company. Also, sales and revenue generation in a company are based on the business model.

A qualified team of advisors can assist you with establishing a successful business model which will allow the company to generate more revenue and motivate the organization to work together as a team. A suitable business model will also ensure that your products and services reach out to your target audience. Overall, it will increase the efficiency of your startup.


Best Revenue Model for Startups | Business Model in 2020
How does your startup generate revenue? Every startup builds business models for startups that promise huge returns after a precise time frame. To know the revenue model for startups read this article.

Helps in Establishing Brand Name in the Market

A startup has to face a lot of challenges but creating a brand name in the market is amongst the most challenging jobs that must be done as early as possible. This will increase sales of your product and services and will ensure that you are reaching out to your target audience.

A major role is played by the advisory board by providing valuable feedback and suggestions to make things work out in favour of your company. This also increases your credibility and attracts new customers and clients to buy your products and services.

In addition to that, you can easily get help from investors who can provide you with funds to grow and develop your startup. The advisory board acts as a significant link between the entrepreneur and their customers, investors or clients.


What Is a Startup Advisory Board and Why Your Startup Should Build One?
Running a business is not easy, every business needs a mentor or an advisor to take a look at the importance of an advisory board in a startup.

How to Build a Successful Advisory Board for Startups?

Building a strong Advisory board is not just a matter of asking the right people. You need professionally qualified individuals who can fill the void in your existing team. However, entrepreneurs need to understand the long-term benefits the company can achieve with their guidance and valuable insights.

Working with an advisory board can be pretty expensive. After all, you are working with individuals with years of industry experience and knowledge. But an entrepreneur also needs to realize the overall impact of an advisory board on their startup. If your business is unable to perform well, then building a successful advisory team is the best idea to save your startup from drowning.

Building an advisory board can be complicated. There are plenty of factors to consider while approaching a potential advisor. However, it is important to consider the return on investment and risk and rewards before approaching any advisor for their valuable source of network and knowledge. Here is a quick guide that will assist you in building an appropriate advisory board:

Know Your Startup's Needs

Understanding your startup's needs in order to build a successful advisory team is essential. It is the first step toward building an advisory board that fits with your organization’s culture, values and mission. You might be thinking of including members from different backgrounds such as education, financial expertise or industry experience.

So for that, you must be aware of your needs and end goals that will allow them to provide assistance where you want to add value to your business operations and valuable insights on crucial business matters. The decision to appoint a team of experts who can potentially bring growth and success solely depends on the entrepreneur.

Outline the Job Description

What to Include in a Job Description?
What to Include in a Job Description?

It is important to outline a job description before looking for members of an advisory board. This will help you look for individuals who are well suited for your startup and can guide you in carrying out business activities and assisting with strategic decisions and planning over the course of time.

Depending on the needs of your business, you must outline the job description that states the educational and skills requirements, the startup's objectives and the roles and responsibilities so that interested applicants are aware of the tasks and expectations of your company. Ensure that each profile needs to be distinct and meets a demanding standard of qualifications.

If you are looking for an advisor who can aid you with the financial affairs of the business, then ensure that it is properly indicated in the job description.

Begin the Recruitment Process

Once you have outlined the job description, the next thing to set up an advisory board for your startup is to start recruiting potential applicants. A quick interview round will help you to understand if they are the right fit based on your job description or not. If you are looking for financial advisors, then keep your interview session about their expertise and knowledge in that specific field.

After a few interview sessions with all the applicants, you will be able to pick a suitable candidate who can be the right fit for your startup. Conducting the recruitment process along with other managerial heads will help you to recruit a better candidate for the role of advisor. Also, ensure that they have experience in dealing with the challenges faced by startups and can provide valuable assistance in dealing with them.

Make a Contract for Finalization

After the recruitment process is complete and if the selected candidates are willing to work with your company then it’s time to sign the contract with mutual agreement and fulfil the legal obligations, so they can join an advisory board in your company.

Ensure that all the required paperwork is complete and they are well aware of the contents of the contract. The contract must define payment terms, a list of set expectations and time commitment requirements. You can also add other important clauses in the agreement depending on the type and needs of your startup.

Assign the Required Objectives and Key Performance Indicators

The final step in building an advisory board is to discuss the objectives and end goals of your business and assign key performance indicators so that they can work accordingly.

Setting performance indicators will allow the company to reach the set milestone and will make sure their performance is as per expectations and they can bring value to the business. Ensure they are working towards the growth and development of the business by providing valuable feedback on complex business matters.‌‌

Conclusion

Advisory Board can be a great resource for startups. It enables you to improve the quality and speed of innovation, receive valuable feedback from key industry professionals, and produce ideas that can be implemented with minimal risk.

Its aim is to provide strategic insight that includes providing advice on marketing strategies, hiring for key positions, or helping the company determine its financial direction. It’s important for entrepreneurs who are looking forward to starting or growing their business to know the importance of a successful advisory board and how to build one.

FAQs

What is a business advisory board?

A business advisory board refers to a group of professionals who are experts in their required fields and offer strategic advice to help businesses make executive decisions and also help them grow to their highest potential.

What is the role of the Advisory Board in a startup?

An advisory board plays a very important role in a startup as it provides strategic insights, ideas and guidance as per the startup's requirements and market trends.

How do you compensate advisors?

Advisors in a startup are usually compensated with salary, equity or both. In the case of equity shares, advisors may receive 0.25% to 1% shares. However, this can vary depending upon the capacity of a startup and the nature of advice.

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