Developing an advisory council for your business.
This week, we continue to look at unique ways to reach out to your Powerful Connections list to build and strengthen your relationships. Having the opportunity to pick the brains of others in business while getting their honest feedback of you and your business is something you don’t want to pass up.
Develop an advisory council for your business. Host a semi-annual meeting inviting well-established businesspeople to give you feedback on your business, the direction it is taking, promotional ideas, referrals, and so forth. (Feel free to do it more often depending on the interest level!) Don’t hesitate to invite people you don’t know to be on your advisory council: people on your Powerful Connections list, local business leaders, and others who could provide you with their valued expertise. Reiterate to those you ask that it will take only a few hours of their time each year. When the meeting rolls around, be prepared with an agenda of items to discuss, and follow up with them afterwards, sharing the advice you heard and the things on which you are moving forward right away. And remember, you don’t need to spend a lot of (if any) money on the location for your meeting. Try holding your advisory council meeting at a local library, community center, or even in the conference room at your bank.
When you involve others in helping you review your business, it is very likely that they will become strong advocates for you. And don’t avoid doing this just because you are afraid no one will agree to do it. From my personal experience, more often than not, others will be happy to help. After all, it is a feather in their caps to be asked to advise someone else. Getting a business off the ground can be very difficult to do without any guidance. An advisory council is a great way to not only build long-lasting connections, but also to get priceless advice from experienced professionals.
Next Tuesday: Taking your conversations from casual to powerful.