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Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


A strong board of directors or board of advisors is an asset to a business. It can add credibility to your management team and increase your likelihood of success. In this section, outline who is on your board, listing their names, employment, training, education, and expertise. Highlight each board members' experiences and how they will help your business thrive.

Many small business owners use the skills of board members to provide expertise and assistance they currently cannot afford to hire. If this is the case in your business, use this section of your business plan to play up the fact that your company has acquired this expertise by having a board. If the board members have industry connections, good reputations, or potential to raise capital for your business, be sure to include these facts.

Tips

  • Use your board of directors descriptions as an opportunity to demonstrate your good business judgment by making it clear how each member will positively impact the company.
     

  • Create a board that complements existing management. If, for example, you own a small technology company but don't have any marketing experience, for example, search for board members who can provide that help. Create a chart to determine the kind of talent needed to move your company ahead. List the skills your management possesses. You can then make a list of the skills you need to acquire and the people who possess those skills.
     
  • Avoid the common mistake of creating a board of directors made up of friends. Make a list of your needs first and then slot friends and colleagues in as appropriate, not the other way around.
     
  • If you have not formed a board of directors or advisors yet, use this section to discuss the kind of talent and experience you plan to assemble for your board.
     

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