Advisory Boards, Business Advisory Boards, Peer Advisory Boards…we’ve heard them all but have you ever wondered what the difference between them actually is? We’re here to break that down for you in a three-part series.
Typically, a “standard” Advisory Board is when a business owner decides they need an outside perspective and expertise that they don’t possess. Many business owners will create an Advisory Board that meets once a quarter, for example, and they will have members provide outside expertise. For instance, a business might have an operations expert, an accountant, or a CFO present at these meetings. Perhaps they might have someone who’s been in business before whom they trust and who has risen to levels that their business has not yet achieved. They could also have folks with specific industry expertise on the board.
Advisory Boards are usually small groups of professionals; often between six to seven people. They sit on the board with all of the advisors and key people within the organization. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to examine the big picture and try to help that owner see their way. They’re bringing expertise; “here’s how you get there. Here’s what to look out for. Here are some things we’re seeing. Here are some ideas”, etc. It is not a board that has any kind of formal power or decision making, but it is one that truly gets to know the intricate inner workings so that they can really “peel back the onion” and offer solid pointed, specific advice.
These Boards are not for the faint of heart. Owners need to be prepared to be vulnerable and open to advice and constructive criticism. They can be incredibly useful to business owners and can help shape a business by helping them reach big goals.
Check out our part-two (of three) blog around what a Business Advisory Board (BAB) is and how it differs from Advisory Boards.