Who do you go to for business advice? Outside of the people in your life who support you emotionally, who do you rely on for experienced advice about where your company is going?
I’m sitting down with Brent Reinke, co-founder of Vapur and attorney and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 25 years, and we’re talking about the importance of having an advisory board. It’s all for the benefit of your company!
Brent’s getting into how to look for advisors and setting up clear expectations. He’s also sharing how having the right advisors can save you from making mistakes, and make you look better to investors, even when you’re just starting out.
Even if you don’t think your business is right for a formal advisory council, this is an amazing episode about getting advice and the importance of having a strong network to keep your business healthy.
Bravery and Business Quote
“Finding advisors comes down to finding people that have a high-degree of passion because they've done it.” Brent Reinke
(click to tweet)
The Cliff Notes
- Advisory board members can help new entrepreneurs to avoid mistakes and navigate pitfalls as they get started and develop.
- You can have a formal or an informal group of advisors, depending on the needs of your company and how much of a network of support you already have.
- Advisory boards and members may change as your company evolves and starts looking towards new goals.
- Most early stage companies don’t need a formal set of advisors. They need to have people around and available, but this doesn’t need to be a traditional board format.
- How you compensate advisors depends on what stage your company is at, what kind of financing it has and what requirements there are of the advisors.
- Who you ask to be an advisor is very industry specific. Do some networking to find people in your field who have experience, and then look to industry professionals, lawyers, accountants, etc. for their expertise.
- Set expectations with your advisors. How much time will you want them to set aside? When will you meet with them? What kind of advice are they expected to provide? How will they be compensated?
- It’s not just knowledge and experience that advisors bring to the table, but also their own networks.
- Leverage your advisors into better financing. You might not have the expertise investors are looking for, but your advisory board might.
“It's critically important as you talk about this idea of board advisors to set proper expectations on both sides.” -Brent Reinke
(click to tweet)