How To Attract A Team Of Advisors

Experts Word Shows Expertise And Consultants© 2014 Leaderbridge

Q. Why would someone want to be on my team?
A. People join teams for any number of reasons:

  • Because you asked. Many executives and successful business people are not invited to share their knowledge and expertise. Quite often they will think of it as an honor.
  • They buy into what you are trying to accomplish.
  • It will affect them or their business in a positive way.
  • They respect you and want to help you.
  • Others have helped them and now they want to give back.
  • You remind them of themselves when they were first getting launched.
  • You have expertise that they need as well.
  • For personal reasons you may never know.
  • They have a vested interested in your success (e.g. an investor).
  • They may want to be able to tap into your contacts and relationships (not as a competitor).

Q. How do I compensate them?
A. Not all teams require compensation. Quite often an advisory board is informal and consists of people who came on board for any of the reasons described above. However, some common forms of compensation include:

  • Pay for their meals, transportation, lodging etc. for meetings
  • Pay a quarterly stipend
  • Offer stock options
  • Provide them with free or discounted products and services
  • Barter (they advise you and you advise them)
  • Help them acquire something they want, need or desire
  • Offer perks (e.g. season tickets for your local college football)

Q. How do I ask them?
A. Start by putting together a 1-3 page business overview. At the very least, include:

  • Your goal (mission)
  • Your plan, even if it is at the earliest stages
  • A description of your products and services
  • Your business model
  • Your target market
  • Your competition and how you differ from them
  • Your pricing model
  • Any successes the business has had or milestones it has reached
  • Your financial situation
  • Financial projections
  • Why you need an advisor or advisory board

Now you are ready to approach the people you want.

  • Do your homework. Try to assess which of the reasons mentioned above your prospect might react positively to, and mention them in your request.
  • Express how much you respect their accomplishments, skills, expertise etc.
  • Explain why they would be a good fit.
  • Explain any compensation, or lack of compensation that you have to offer.
  • Ask them if they are willing to come on board.

4. What is the difference between an advisory board and a board of directors?
The 30,000-ft. view explanation is this:

  • As its name implies, your team of advisors (an advisory board) serves strictly to advise you.
  • A board of directors is a legal entity that governs the actions of the company. Many of the principles described above will apply to your board of directors, but there are legal obligations and responsibilities that are tied to being in that position.

At this point in time, we are referring to your advisory board only.

Tony Bodoh and Vinny Ribas are the co-founders of LeaderBridge. Tony is the author of the soon-to-be released book, ‘The Customer Within.’ He is a Fortune 150 consultant and the founder of Tony Bodoh International and VenuPlan. Vinny is the author of ‘CEO Secrets’ and has coached over 1000 entrepreneurs. He is also the founder of Indie Connect, an entertainment management, consulting and training company. Together, they have identified thirteen critical elements that successful businesses leverage in a specific sequence throughout each of four stages of business growth. Using these elements as the foundation, LeaderBridge offers a system of in-depth business, leadership and personal development training for business owners.

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[note]proofread by CR – 11/08/13[/note]