Although it is your idea, your intellectual property, and your business plan, success is not achieved alone. Even the greatest entrepreneurs in history had help, and they needed it to get to the top, trust me. The quality of the people involved in your business also determines the success of your business. Many ventures ultimately fail because the proper talent has not been assembled. Individuals with strong technical backgrounds might ignore the importance of including management team people with the appropriate business background, and vice versa.
Outside of your management team (CEO, CFO, COO), which handles business operations on a daily basis, every business needs a support team. There are three main elements that will comprise your support team. These elements are a Board of Advisors, the Board of Directors, and Professional Service Providers. We will go into who makes up each group and what to look for when assembling your support team.
Board of Advisors
A board of advisors is normally a group of well trusted, respected and knowledgeable individuals. They may or may not be stake-holders in the business. A board of advisors usually includes an accountant, a legal representative, a retired professional or any other individual whose input is considered valuable and relevant to your industry.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors plays a significant role in a business. They are typically responsible for determining the overall direction and goals of an organization. Their job is to focus on long term planning and strategy rather than tactical operations and day-to-day management control. Depending on the size of the proposed business, the Board of Directors may consist of a single individual or an entire group of stakeholders.
Professional Service Providers
Few business owners hold all of the skills and abilities needed to run a successful operation. For that reason, a solid collection of pre-selected, outside consultants will reassure potential investors of a proposed business ability to achieve its goals. Examples of these include but are not limited to a law firm, from which you will seek all of your legal advice, as well as an accounting firm that will make sure your books are properly kept and up to date.
One of the most important parts of the business plan, and certainly the most important part of the personnel plan and organization section, is a presentation of the backgrounds of those individuals expected to play key roles in the initiation and operation of the venture. This will go a long way in establishing credibility in the eyes of investors.
Assembling a good team of experienced individuals is paramount to the success of your business, so choose your team wisely. If you can put together the right mix then you will greatly improve your chances for success.