You don’t need to own a billion-dollar business to benefit from the power of an advisory board.

Whether you’re planning an expansion or navigating government regulations, a well-chosen team of business advisers can help put your company on the right path.

Even if you’re already partnering with a single business adviser, like a SCORE mentor, it is sometimes beneficial to tap into a wider pool of expertise to help the business grow.

An advisory board is an informal group of business veterans who have the know-how to provide the strategic guidance your company needs. For some businesses, it can also be a cost-effective alternative to a board of directors, where each director can cost more than $24,000 in compensation annually. Leverage an advisory board to:

Fill the expertise gaps

Experienced advisers will bridge strategy-level knowledge gaps on your internal team. For example, if your company isn’t large enough to hire a chief marketing officer, you might benefit from an advisory board member with high-level marketing experience.

And, if you’re working with a sole adviser, a team can provide additional expertise outside your mentor’s own skills and abilities.

Areas where you may have gaps include business development, finance, fundraising, public relations, or partnership development. You might also look for advisers with deep knowledge of specific industries, like e-commerce, consumer goods, or tech.

Add fresh perspective

When you’re buried in day-to-day business operations, it’s tough to see the bigger picture. Since an advisory team isn’t tied to your company’s daily to-do list, they collectively offer a blinders-free perspective on how to move your business forward efficiently, effectively.

A team of advisers can be especially helpful in businesses that are family-owned or closely held. Multiple third-party perspectives bring valuable objectivity, which is sometimes absent when owners work day-in and dayout with family members or business partners.

Power up your professional network

Behind each professional-level adviser lies a vast network of business colleagues with the resources and knowhow you need to grow your bottom line.

When you work with an advisory board, that networking power becomes exponential. If the team can’t find a solution, it’s likely they know someone who can — and that’s a powerful advantage for any business owner.

You don’t need to make strategic business decisions alone. Tap the power of an advisory team to grow your company effectively and efficiently.

• Fred Engle is a certified mentor with SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon.


Column: Using an advisory board to grow your business the smart way