If you are a founder, one of the greatest advantages a board of advisors can bring to your firm is an external perspective on important issues, and this could be crucial for growth in a post-COVID-19 economic cycle.
By Claudiu Vrinceanu
Romanian firms may want to adopt a practice seen at multinationals – the board of directors – and form an advisory board of trusted advisors and experts to help navigate uncharted waters in the coming year, a period that could represent a recovery phase for many industries. In rapidly-changing markets, as is currently the case due to the highly volatile COVID-19 crisis, many companies are setting up a Board of Advisors to provide fresh and experience-based advice to founders and CEOs.
In short, a board of advisors could add layers of expertise and informal guidance, particularly in times when Romanian firms are being forced to pivot and rethink their business models. Usually, a board of advisors meets constantly as a group with the founder and they debate challenges and opportunities for the firms.
How to build a board of advisors? There are several ways. If you take investment in your company, the investors automatically become members of the Board.
“In my experience so far, I have observed two types of Board formation strategies: the fishing approach and the pitching approach,” said Sergiu Negut, angel investor and co-founder of Antreprenoria.
In the fishing approach, entrepreneurs usually turn to people who are in their immediate circle of acquaintances and advisers. They tend to have already had conversations with them about the business and have appreciated the informal support they offered.
“A particular situation I have noticed is that entrepreneurs who have had formal mentoring relationships often choose the mentor as the first member of the Board,” adds Negut.
The pitching approach is when you choose members of a community of advisers and start building a relationship with them from scratch. In this case, you benefit from assisted matching and a much wider spectrum of advisors than your personal network.