Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Micro/Small Business Online Advisory Board Reply To: Micro/Small Business Online Advisory Board

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I’ve been watching this thread develop with some interest over the last week as I see it as an interesting and valuable concept. However, I see some core challenges in its capability to be truly effective.

Fundamentally a board’s value comes from delivering tailored information based on a deep understanding of the business (as you state above), it’s leadership, needs and intentions. Which requires a deep level of commitment for the advisers to develop and maintain. The more boards they sit on, or companies they are expected to oversee, the greater the commitment and difficultly they will face with differentiating businesses, their leaders, needs and intentions. Their advice, therefore, becomes less tailored and more general – despite their ‘expert’ status. At absolute minimum, every board member would need to have a deep understanding of their business’s business plans.

Another key challenge I see is the requirement to appropriately attract and retain the talent you require to establish and maintain the board’s services. Most ‘experts’ will already be running their own business and not see the value of dedicating (significant) time at (probably) less return, and a variety of other factors.

There are already 11 (12 if you include law) expert fields above. That’s a lot of different experts to attract, screen and retain to make the board function as broadly outlined. That’s a lot of slices of a small pie (e.g Greg’s $20 a month) for a big commitment.

Whilst the above is not overly difficult to overcome (e.g. through appropriate remuneration, limiting companies they oversee and niching the business types advisers oversee), it starts to deviate from your target markets needs (e.g. reduced cost) and the boards ability to effectively provide your services. Another approach may be to have different levels of membership and associated access to your experts, with a payment package scalable to your client’s support requirements and experts capability to somewhat set their own support fees.

I know the above isn’t related to your original question, just my thoughts. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you would overcome the above.

Edit: By ‘somewhat set’ I mean influence, through measures such as their contributions to discussions, a tier level ranking etc.