Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1 - (Page 19)
Required but Powerful
How Strategic Advisory Boards Can Improve Your Business
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN ADVISORY BOARD?
The companies that succeed in getting participation do so by addressing the WII-FM (what’s in it for me?). Instead of telling potential members how it beneﬁts your business, let them know how it will beneﬁt them.
Is it just another time-consuming requirement placed on us by accrediting agencies? Or is there real value to be had in an effective advisory board? Yes, having an annual meeting of an advisory board is mandated by most accrediting agencies, but in reality, I believe there is much more to be gained by these meetings than simply being in compliance.
A Powerful Management Tool
Regardless of the size of your business, advisory boards are a powerful management tool. Their primary purpose is to suggest ways to improve your school in order to improve the schools’ outcomes. They are convened to give advice and support. Think about it this way: this is an opportunity to get successful industry people together and brainstorm how to make your business better. It is a time to share ideas, concerns, challenges and opportunities. An advisory board is a management tool to help you check in on your business. Are you on the right track? Where are the missed opportunities? What can you improve upon?
The Advisory Committee
Who to invite to the advisory board is mandated somewhat by your accrediting agency; but keep in mind that these requirements are minimum standards. You don’t have to limit yourself to who they require you to include. The advisory committee is comprised of a variety of industry experts. Invite people who are in touch with the product you produce. Think about the objectives of your business. That will help you determine who to invite. If your purpose is to train cosmetology students for competency in entry-level employment, it stands to reason that you would want someone on the advisory committee who hires your graduates. What is the product of your business? If you are producing graduates, include one or two of your graduates. They will give you the best insight to how your business is functioning. Other possible participants include your student salon customers, staff members, instructors, manufacturing representatives or current students.
come and give advice on how to make yours better is a challenge for me. The companies that succeed in getting me to participate do so by making it meaningful to me. They address the WII-FM (what’s in it for me?). Instead of telling potential members how it beneﬁts your business, let them know how it will beneﬁt them. For salon owners, they have an opportunity to shape and mold the next wave of graduates they will be employing. For graduates, it is an opportunity to give back to the next generation of professionals. Sometimes, it is simply a free lunch!
Put a time limit on how long they are expected to serve. Ask members to serve for a two-year period. Be very clear on what is expected of them. How many times a year will they be required to meet? How long will the meetings be? What will be expected of them? What do you want them to contribute? Develop a written description of the responsibilities of the advisory board. Formally invite participants and outline their responsibilities and what they will receive in return. Give them a brief overview of your business. Include an agenda of topics to be discussed. This will give participants an opportunity to research and prepare to give you the best feedback possible. Let them know who else is serving on the committee.
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What’s in it for Me?
One challenge that I often hear from school owners is that they have a hard time getting people to attend advisory meetings. I understand the challenge. I often get asked to serve on various advisory boards, it is time consuming and it takes me away from my business. To leave my business to
BY LISHA BARNES
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1
Message from the AACS President and CEA Chair
Workings of Washington
A Trade Show Workout
Building a Bulletproof School
The Art of Edutainment
Beyond the Fluff
And Then There's Compliance
Beauty Changes Lives
Spring Operations Conference Info
AACS Is Connecting Members
Associate Member Profiles: Collections
People & Places
New Products & Services
New School Members
Upcoming 2012 Events
Index to Advertisers
Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1
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