Establishing an Advisory Board

As an entrepreneur, it can be helpful to have a group of professionals close by who can support your business and its development. Perhaps, this group is a more formal board of directors or a more informal red wine advisory club.

Why should businesses establish a board?

When you are starting and growing a business, it can be invaluable to have a board. Board members can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Contribute expertise and knowledge.
  • Open doors to their networks.
  • Provide a sounding board or give approval.
  • Strengthen the credibility of a business.
  • Provide valuable leadership.

Better decisions are often made with several perspectives included. When you establish a board, you expand the number of people who can be accountable in your business.

How can you establish a board?

When you establish a board there are various ways you can do this:

  • One-Off Arrangement: Gather a group of members together for a one-time discussion.
  • Red Wine Club: Organize reoccurring, regular meetings with the same group with different topics discussed each time.
  • Advisory Board: Organize more formal meetings with a specific agenda that goes on the record. The group functions as advisors and has no legal responsibility.
  • Professional Board: Organize formal meetings with a specific agenda that goes on the record. The group has a legal responsibility and additional areas of focus including the business budget, risks, growth opportunities, etc.

The right type of board may depend on your business or its lifecycle stage. Perhaps, you start with an informal red wine club in the beginning and then later get more formal.

The type of board may also go hand in hand with compensation. Not all boards pay their board members a fee, often many are on a volunteer basis. Potential board members may be motivated by the prestige of being invited, the possibility of networking, or the opportunity to gain experience or inspiration.

Who is on the board?

When considering who is on the board, you want to start by considering what type of people your business needs.

In general, it is often helpful to have:

  • A financial perspective such as an accountant, economist, or financier
  • A legal perspective from a lawyer
  • An external perspective from a client or industry expert

A technical specialist, journalist, designer, scientist, politician, etc. may also be helpful depending on your business.


Regardless of the type of board or who is on the board, the important thing is you are acquiring more expertise for your business. This expertise may also come in the form of a mentor, a business coach, or a professional advisor. Alternatively, you may have a network of professionals you consult as needed without getting them all in the same room at the same time.

Getting Started with GrowthWheel

If you need help with segmentation, the first step is connecting with a GrowthWheel Advisor. Mark Johnson, the Executive Director of the Technology Innovation Center, is a Certified GrowthWheel® Business Advisor.

Once you have connected with an advisor, he/she will send you a 360 screening. After completing the screening, your GrowthWheel Advisor will recommend decision sheets to help guide decision making and create a 30-60-90 action plan that outlines the decisions and timeline.

Send us a message today to get started!

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