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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 7 IDEA: Create an Informal Advisory Board

The largest companies in the world have all sorts of advisory boards, but entrepreneurs are often reluctant to ask outsiders for help. An advisory board made up of industry leaders, deep thinkers, and trusted colleagues can steer you and your company through the choppiest waters—at very little cost.

Unlike a board of directors, which has legal and fiduciary responsibilities, advisory boards can be set up as formally or as informally as you like. You should offer to pay people a modest sum, perhaps $1,500, to attend one meeting every quarter or twice a year.

Years ago, I served on a small business advisory board created by the American Express Corporate Card group. About a dozen movers and shakers ...

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