Would your business benefit from outside guidance? Are you ready to bring on a board of directors or other outside advisors? If so, you’ll definitely want to read Carol’s recent post on the Bank of America Small Business Community, “7 Tips on Choosing and Using Board Advisors.” Carol begins:

Regardless of if you have a new start-up or a long-standing family business seeking to grow, having a board can help your business become more successful.

Whether your board is loosely structured as an advisory board or has a fiduciary responsibility to the business’s shareholders via a formal directorship, you need a plan of action to get the most out of your advisors.

Here are some key ways to help your advisors help your business to be a success:

1. Know your advisors’ competencies. Advisors can bring a bevy of benefits to companies, so know what you want and what will help you the most when seeking an advisor.

2. Set clear and realistic expectations. What is it you want your advisors to assist with? It could be help with raising capital (through direct contacts or credibility), strategic advice, marketing and PR, product development, business development, sales or a whole host of other connections and areas. Know and communicate your expectations.

Many of the companies I advised find the most value in using me as a sounding board and a check-in point to keep them on track. That is an underrated value of having someone who can provide discipline on your advisory board. On the flipside, don’t expect your advisor or board member to be running your business for you. That’s never their role.

You can read the rest of the post here.