Big business has plenty of stakeholders that are all able to give their opinion and ultimately aid the business in making decisions. Shouldn’t small business have the same benefits? The idea is not a new concept, but as independent entrepreneurs we need to get input from others to make sure that we are hitting our target markets, looking at demographics, demand, and competition in the correct light.
When I make decisions for Lady Bizness, Inc. they have been talked over with my Mastermind Group. This concept is an old one too that comes from Napoleon Hill, author of one of my favorite books, Think and Grow Rich. The Mastermind group is defined “as a mind that is developed through the harmonious cooperation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task.”
An advisory board is the same concept of using others to bounce ideas off of. People have called this action brainstorming and can use the techniques to further their business goals while getting feedback that is beneficial.
Make sure that the people you seek advice from are genuine and will give honest opinions regardless of their affiliation to you and you business. They must be vested in your success and not haters that will just tell you things are great and expect you to fail. “Beware of people who always say yes to everything!”
Here are the Lady Bizness tips for creating an Awesome Advisory Board
1. Use the Advisory Board to cultivate ideas that you already have, but may not be so sure about. Have a plan and pros and cons when you come to the meeting.
2. Defend your points and stick to the vision that you have. Others can add in opinions and ideas, but ultimately the choice is yours as an owner.
3. Choose people who you respect and in turn respect your opinion. Typically those that are mentors, have been in business for a considerable amount of time, and have success, will be suitable for your Advisory Board.
4. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and tell others if their ideas are good, bad, or indifferent. You are a participant in the group too, so make sure that your voice is heard. Once you speak up you will see which personality traits you take on in the group and how valuable you are to the process.
5. Include creative people, organized people, those that focus on mathematics, and maybe a pessimist. This may sound crazy, but the reality is that we always think our own ideas sound great. That may not always be the case. Therefore the aforementioned individuals will vary drastically in the way they see a situation.
The creative person will give great ideas and be very visual. Their talents will usually lie in the aesthetics and have a “feeling” or mood that needs to be expressed.
The organized person will want to know how you plan on accomplishing a task and will be more focused on time-lines and need a written plan as well as verbal. This will help to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
The person that is focused on mathematics will want to know how much things cost, break-even analysis, and profit margins. This person can be an accountant or an investor. They want to know how and when the money will be reciprocated. The person focused on money will always look out for your bottom line and make sure that you are making a profit.
Finally, the pessimist. This is the person that will give you all the reason why to or not to do something. This person will play the devil’s advocate and challenge your plan. The pessimist needs to have a balance and not make their comments in a negative manner, but instead get you to think about the cons that can occur to aid in avoiding making those mistakes.
Now that you are armed with the Lady Bizness philosophy on the Advisory Board you can create your own. Give us some feedback, tell us if you have a group, and if so make sure that you meet at least once a month to discuss the changes in your business and the direction that you want to take your business.
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(Napoleon Hill Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.com)
(Accountant Photo Courtesy of WorkItMom.com)