A guide to creating your startup advisory board

The entrepreneurial journey is full of twists, turns, ups and downs. That’s why you need the support of trusted advisors.  Take these examples:

1. The Accidental Founder

Renee is in early stage mode. She has an “accidental business” – something that she happened upon as a result of her interest in helping people. To her surprise and delight, what started as a hobby, helping people decorate their homes, has garnered a great deal of attention in the neighborhood.

Little by little, friends turned to clients, clients began referring other clients and she started making money doing what she loves.  Now she wants to turn it into a full time gig – she’s even thinking of hiring an assistant. But, she’s not sure where to begin.  She needs advice.

2. The Guy Who Cried ‘Scale’

Barry’s business is in a time of transition (who’s isn’t, right?). He has built it up from little more than an idea two years ago to the high class challenge now of being caught between plenty of work and too much work. He has a lot of questions and concerns and sleepless nights.

His team is great – they are dedicated and trusting and committed to the success of the business, but they are not owners. The challenges he faces are uniquely his and, frankly, the decisions he makes about the business may impact the team in ways they might not choose on their own. He needs advice.

3. The Risk-Taker

Another friend, Alexander, has been with his company for nearly 30 years. He is running a small division of a much larger firm. The group operates with a great deal of autonomy and Alexander has comfort knowing he is backed by a stable organization.

But, things have changed. The big company has moved out of the sector that Alexander’s group covers.

So, last month, Alexander offered to buy the business from his employer. He is at once elated, freaked out, cautious, risk-loving and ready to take the next step. He needs advice.

In all three scenarios, the entrepreneurs were contemplating and/or experiencing seismic shifts in their careers and in their businesses. While the companies in question and the decisions made to impact the firms’ futures rest solely with the entrepreneurs themselves, those decisions could likely be made more clearly with the input of trusted third parties.

This may also be true for you.