A Board of Advisors is not only for large companies, one of the best startup tips out there is to create one that will have a positive impact on your company. Venture Accelerator Parters, like many of our clients is a growing company. We currently have three full-time employees and additional part-time resources that we employ providing sales and marketing assistance.
VA Partners has a Board of Advisors which sometimes confuses others. Many people think that the company is small and doesn’t understand how a Board of Advisors can benefit us, but we get significant benefit from their advice. One of the best startup tips we could provide you, is to have a Board of Advisors, no matter the size of your company.
We have two members on our Board. Both have different expertise and different ways of working. The first is a former colleague that has run large sales and marketing organizations and is very process oriented. The other member is a former classmate, is more pragmatic and has worked on the VC side for a small technology fund. They have two different backgrounds and methods of operating. The key to have a successful Board of Advisors is to have members that have different points of view, review your business. Sometimes as the owner it is difficult to look at your business from an outside perspective.
We have two formalized meetings a year and a few adhoc sessions with each member on specific actions. For the formalized session we typically have the same agenda items;
- Year to date goals including financial, customer, development, and community
- Sales funnel
- Major issue we are working on; this last meeting it was scaling for growth
- Future plans
- Review of action items from the last
- Strategy session on how they can help VA Partners and our clients
We don’t pay our Board of Advisors, but we do provide them with a nice meal and a bottle of wine to share at home with their significant other. I think we also provide them with an opportunity to use their mind and to look at different things. They provide us a number of benefits including;
- Connections that benefit our business
- Contacts and opportunities for our clients
- Feedback and questions on our business and strategy
The set-up of our Board works for us and our Advisors. It may work for your organization as well even if you think you may be too small.
Do you think you’re ready for a Board of Advisors? Tell us in the comments. To learn more about us, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.