More Than Just Business AdvicePosted: October 29, 2013
As a small to mid-sized business owner, it can be difficult to find success completely on your own. One way to get help, as discussed in my last blog, is to bring in an outside advisor, but another powerful path is to join a peer-advisory board.
I hear from many of my members that the largest advantage of a peer advisory board is getting completely unbiased opinions from your peers who act as a sounding board for your business concerns and provide real life experience, that help you step back and think, bounce ideas off and if they have a trained facilitator they can also provide wise counsel from an experienced mentor.
Like advisors, there are numerous peer advisory boards that claim they can help your company better reach its goals. As an owner or senior executive, you do not have the time to interview all of them, nor have the time to invest in the wrong one, so I have outlined a few questions you’ll need answered before deciding on which peer advisory board is right for you.
- Investment. What type of upfront and long term investment is required from you. Some peer advisory boards are free and some cost tens of thousands of dollars. I’d suggest that if you choose a free one, you might not get exactly what you are looking for.
- Private 1-to-1 mentoring sessions. Make sure that your peer advisory board also offers private 1-to-1 mentoring sessions with a professional, trained business coach. This is essential, as what you discuss in the board sessions will be followed up on by your coach.
- Divergent opinions. Check out the others on the board, are they owners or senior executives like yourself or are they middle management or juniors? You want a peer advisory made up of your peers in the true sense of the word.
- Competition. Are there any competitors on your board? You need to know who you are opening up your business to, so make sure the organization is transparent with who is on the board.
Do you want to join a peer advisory board? If so, what has lead to this decision? If not, do you think you may consider this in the future? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.