When is the right time to start using advisors or external board members?

"We should have done this [taking external board members] much earlier, the benefits have been so huge" said the CEO of one of our client company. We found them 25 candidates and they started to work with two of them.

This is something we hear quite often - "we should have done this much earlier". For some reason many companies hesitate to look for external people to work as advisors or board members. But when they finally do, they are positively surprised on the quality of advisors that gets interested and the impact these people have on the company.

It is generally a good idea to consider bringing in advisors or external board members when company is facing an inflection point, typically a stage where company is looking to grow and scale. However there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when the time is right to start using advisors or external board members. It will depend on the specific needs and goals of the company, as well as the resources and expertise there is available internally.

A good test to see if timing would be right to bring external skills in, is to do a "skills test":

  1. First define company target for the next few years, i.e. where do you want to be.
  2. To get there, your team needs to have certain skills. List these skills.
  3. Next list existing skills within your team.
  4. Comparing needed skills with existing skills, you find out what skills gaps your team has.
  5. There are naturally many ways to fix those gaps (like hiring someone, using consultant, advisor) and next you need to analyze and plan how and when each gap will be taken care of.

If you feel advisor or board member is suitable solution for your needs, follow these simple steps to find right advisors:

  1. Book a call with Boardio representative. Based on a call, we'll identify your need.
  2. Wait for few weeks and we'll send you advisor candidates. These candidates have interest and bandwidth to work with you.
  3. Have calls with ones that seem suitable for your needs. Agree all details like role, amount of work, compensation directly with the advisor.

The key thing is to get started to see what kind of advisors gets interested in your business. Only once you know that and have had calls with the candidates, you'll make the decision whether to start working with anyone. Sometimes you notice during the process and while having interviews with candidates that timing is actually not right at the moment.