You need an advisory board to hold you accountable and challenge you.  Forming a board actually isn’t that difficult once you know how they’re structured.  Your end goal is to load your board with four or five accomplished people, who have a mix of startup or industry experience.  Create a short list of potential advisors, and then get to know each person over a few meals.  Test the waters and probe to see if their experience would be valuable to your company, given its long-term direction.  You know you’ve got a good fit when they get excited about your business and the prospect of getting involved.

Once you have him on the hook, it’s time to reel him in.  Do this by putting some equity on the line.  Normally, an advisor gets 0.5-1.0% in exchange for advising you over a set period of time, usually two years.  In exchange for the equity, he agrees to meet at least once a month for an hour.  In these meetings, usually conference calls with your entire board, explain your most pressing issues.  After you explain the situation, stop talking and let them earn their equity.  If you’ve succeeded in putting together the right advisory board, the advice you get should be pure gold.

Matt Sand

Author Matt Sand

Passionate about making a difference through innovation and entrepreneurship.

More posts by Matt Sand