Getting an advisor by Adam KidanWhen you’re starting a business, people often talk about how important your first hire is.  And they’re absolutely right.  But hiring your first advisor is a huge, arguably even bigger, step.  Among other things, a good advisor is able to assist with strategy, facilitate connections, analyze financials, provide insights and serve as a great sounding board.  There are few better returns on investment.  

Finding a good advisor might sound difficult, but it can actually be pretty simple.  Many executives are interested in advisory work for the experience and intellectual stimulation, not to mention that it looks great on your resume.  It falls under the “Board of Directors/Advisory Board” category of professional opportunities, and the time commitment is typically minimal.  Even if it calls for a minimal time commitment from advisors themselves, they can help your company in endless ways.  Think about particular challenges or opportunities that your company is currently facing.  Somebody with industry expertise could be a huge help, not to mention the fact that advisors are often a whole lot cheaper than consultants.  And advisors have got your best interests at heart; they want the company to improve under their tutelage, since it will look that much better on their own resume.  

Identify the type of executives that could add the most value in this role: a certain position, an important local executive, a “big company” executive in your industry or even somebody with specific connections that could be beneficial to your small business.  Once you’ve found somebody you’d like as an advisor, reach out and ask for a phone call to explore the potential fit.  During this call, pay attention to what experience this potential advisor has, and how they could help.  If it’s a good fit and they’re still interested, negotiate compensation, and then you can conduct quarterly meetings via conference call to make sure everything goes smoothly.

While it might seem like you won’t find anybody, you’ll be surprised at how many good-quality executives want to help you out with your small business.  If you’d like to learn more, you can click here!