3 Tips to Curating an Advisory Board that Adds Value to Your SME

January 13, 2021 | Joyce Ibrahim


As a startup or SME, you need all the help and advice you can get from others who understand what it takes to grow a business. And the best way to surround yourself with experts is to establish an advisory board for your business that will help you increase your chances of success and speed up your outcomes.


What is a board advisor?

Your advisors should always be experienced business people or industry experts who have the knowledge and network your business is missing.


Examples of areas in which advisors can be helpful include:

  • Advising on business model strategy and positioning
  • Advising on key areas of the business
  • Enhancing your pitch decks and presentations
  • Connecting you to potential investors
  • Introducing you to key customers
  • Helping you identify and recruit adequate talent for your growth identifying

It’s important to understand the purpose of your advisory board and its scope of work. Remember that advisors are not mentors, and their advice serves the broader company and its shareholders than just its entrepreneurs.


Choosing the right advisors for your business goals is crucial to your success. Here are our 3 tips on how to assess and select advisors who align with your vision and power your growth.


Define your purpose & needs

To determine the best fit for your advisory board, ask yourself what you value in an advisor and what you company needs from them, like experience, passion, and availability, for example. Then work on defining the resources you are missing. Perhaps is it a skill you can’t find within your team? Or is it industry knowledge that you have yet to acquire? Good advisors combine both the important values you’re looking for, and the resources to push your goals forward.


Look for people who have failed & learned

Although people tend to look for lessons in success stories, failure is the greatest teacher. And most importantly, it is inevitable. Therefore, looking for potential advisors who have previously failed and rebounded can bring valuable input to your company.

In addition to having the ability to predict failure and help you avoid it, advisors who have learned from past failures can also bring actionable advice to your SME if a large project fails.


Say no to yes men

The last thing you need is advisors who will nonchalantly agree with everything you say and do. Lack of challenge within your advisory board beats the very purpose of having it. Ideally, advisors will you’re your and your company’s best interest at heart, and will not be afraid to contradict your opinion and decisions.

Furthermore, advisors who constantly agree with you are likely uncommitted to your objectives/ The best board advisors, in addition to being experts in their fields, share a mission that is similar to yours. They take their commitments seriously and don’t hesitate in being vocal about what can be improved and what actions are best to take.  



Does your business have gaps that need to be filled?

Get in touch with Brakket Consult to find out how we can help!