Understanding the advisory board

Do you have any close family or friends, or even mentors that you go to when you need advice?

That’s basically what an advisory board is – it’s a “go to” team of people that you keep in touch with, and that you can reach out to when you need business advice.

Unlike a board of directors which has a very definite legal duty towards a company, an advisory board is usually informal and the advisory board members’ only responsibility is to give input to the individual or company that they advise, as and when requested to do so.

Having an advisory board make a lot of sense for small businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly the ones that don’t have all the skills they need on their payroll in order to make optimal decisions.

Advisory boards are most often used by startups or young companies. As companies grow bigger, the board of directors, large governance structures and lots of subcommittees usually end up overshadowing any void that may have existed before. This doesn’t mean that an advisory board can’t be useful to an executive in a large company though, or even sitting as an independent sounding board for the large company’s management team. But this is the exception rather than the rule.

 

Find an advisory board member

Looking to join an advisory board or find a business you can help? Try this page instead.