Entrepreneurs Advisory Boards

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 Your Advisory Board


includes a lawyer, 


an accountant, your


rich uncle, and


your pastor?




Well maybe one or two of those types do actually hold court with you once a quarter or twice a year and offer trusted advice and opinions about where your enterprise appears to be headed . . . and maybe you listen, and maybe you don’t. And maybe they’re helpful. And maybe they’re not.

After all, typically, they’re not paid. And you do remember that someone once told you you get what you pay for? Ah, but a good advisory board is usually made up of people who have a physical or emotional investment in seeing you succeed. And that trumps paying a fee for services. 

No compensation? Well, maybe some coffee and donuts — or fruit, cheese, and crackers, depending on your level of health-nuttiness. Wow! So now you’ll read a little further?

Advisory Boards, generally, are a good thing for most small business ventures because –when they include a small group of diverse, talented people who like and care about you– they can shed light on your darkness and provide enough reassurance or guidance to afford you to step back and observe your brainchild firsthand.

Advisory Boards provide a sense of reality you might not otherwise solicit or be exposed to.”


Okay, you’ve got all that. And it either sparks an idea, or it just lays there flat on its back, rolling its eyes at you! Well, here’s a definite sparkler:

Start a Rotating Teenage Advisory Board.


Huh? Why? Why not? When did you last waltz a thirteen-year-old boy or girl through your place of business and ask him or her for observations?

I promise you he/she will see things you never noticed, and maybe never even thought about. Does it matter that your business makes products or delivers services for nursing homes (whoops, how un-PC of me: long-term care facilities)? Or nursing mothers? Or male nurses? Truck drivers? Scuba divers? (It rhymed!) No it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you regularly host small groups of teens through your office, plant. store, or worksite, and that you non-judgmentally LISTEN to what they have to say, and keep a journal or take dated notes of key comments. Pay careful attention to the questions they ask (and how they ask them) before trying to answer them.

It’s true that teenagers (as when each of us were) are different, weird, and aloof.

They are preoccupied with texting, handheld electronics, and each other.

They may seem the least unlikely to contribute anything of value to a non-teenage market business.

Yet –refreshingly– they lack developed prejudices.

They are naive and breed a rare perspective of business innocence.


You can learn more and spark more ideas from one business visit by a youngster, or two or three than you are likely to from ten top industry or profession muckity-mucks who will surely carry competition chips on their shoulders, and be more inclined to maintaining a political edge.

One business I heard of makes a practice of gathering small groups of teens from the local middle school and high school (pre-arranged of course with the parents, but not with school administrators who would tangle up the process) and rewarding them with praise, snacks, juice, and bookstore gift cards for bright ideas offered.

The owner has translated teen visitor input into new product launches, line extensions, and revenue streams, that produced enough income to allow some scholarship funding in return. What can you get? What can you give?


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  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

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