Even solopreneurs can benefit from a support network. Here’s how to develop an advisory board and get the help you need.
Even if you think of yourself as a one-person operation, you’ll need a team of support people to help you create a successful business. From contractors and suppliers to advisory board members and employees, each of these individuals can help make or break your new business. Start networking — with friends, family, business associates, the professionals in your life — to widen your network and choose the best people for your team.
Your advisory board can include a mix of professional peers, legal or financial advisors, or mentors. You need to develop a network of advisors whose talents, knowledge, resources and skills can be used to help you handle the demands of your business. Besides providing you with sound advice, the collaborative talents of your team can also help you obtain larger projects and grow with your clients’ needs. Meet with them a few times a year to solicit their professional feedback.
If you need to hire employees, consider interns, students or part-timers as your first-time hires. If you think you won’t need permanent employees in the beginning, you can also look into temporary services and independent contractors. If you’re planning to hire someone on full-time, however, remember that the employees you hire can make or break your business. While you may be tempted to hire the first person who walks in the door «just to get it over with,» doing so can be a fatal error. A small company just can’t afford to carry deadwood on its staff, so start smart by taking time to figure out your staff needs before you begin looking for job candidates.