There are reasons why there are stockbrokers and semiconductor engineers in the world. Not everyone has the same skill sets. But when you mix these two skill sets and put the best stockbroker behind the fastest semiconductor it’s like magic. The faster the transaction, the faster the broker can make money. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate.
The question is, if companies have access to both skill sets, why wouldn’t they want to take advantage of them?
When a company is formed, it starts with money. A board of directors is formed and they guide the company with a focus on money. And, quite frankly, at times this is required. There are a lot of startups that will blame the lack of company spend on a particular department for failing to execute. “We didn’t get enough leads to buy our product because we didn’t spend enough on marketing,” or “We didn’t meet our product delivery schedule because we didn’t spend/hire enough engineers to build the product,” or “We didn’t close enough business because we didn’t have enough sales reps selling the product.”
Whatever the excuse it typically comes down to money, but without proper fiduciary checks and balances in place, the money would be spent too quickly in the wrong places and the company would go bankrupt. If you’re going to put these checks and balances in place financially, why wouldn’t you do this with the technical side of the business?
What does this mean? If you are going to have a board of directors focusing on spending and company metrics, how about an advisory board that can help support a number of other aspects of the business such as marketing, sales, engineering etc.
A number of companies have advisory boards, and if they don’t they should. Why? Most importantly because they typically don’t cost you as much as A) the main board of directors or B) full time employees that can offer the virtue of their experience of what to do while letting someone else execute to a set of ideas or a strategy?
There are a large number of people, in every industry, that have a great deal of experiences that can help propel a business forward, very cost effectively I might add. Here is an simple example: Having a person on your advisory committee that does marketing in your industry may be able to provide advice on improved ways of doing a marketing campaign. Additionally, they may be able to provide advice on a quick way to set up the campaign and even resources that may be able to help without having to hire people full time.
Another good example is folks that have worked in many companies or in sales or business development. They become great advisors who can provide introductions to the right people to help move the business forward.
In every startup I have worked for, I have had the benefit of having an advisory board and in every case, they have provide significant value. From sitting down to discuss and develop a strategy to helping with hiring consultants and long term hires for a job, advisory boards have been extremely helpful.
Other advisory board members have helped with introductions to OEMs that could help complement our own business and drive sales while helping to complement an OEM’s business and take them to new competitive places.
By putting the right team together on an advisory board, you can help move your business to another level quicker than trying to build it organically.