Looking for people to serve on the advisory board of your small business, but not sure how to invite them? Below you'll find a sample advisory board invitation letter you can use to recruit people to serve on your small business' board.
An advisory board staffed with qualified individuals can provide your business with advice and expertise in a variety of disciplines including management, marketing, accounting, staffing, customer service, technology, etc. They can be a great resource for any busy business owner.
Explain the Appeal
To persuade people to serve on your board you need to craft an invitation letter that describes the benefits of becoming an advisory board member for your business. In other words, just as in any other kind of marketing, you are making a pitch and you have to make joining your board as attractive as possible to your potential recruit.
The following is a sample of how an invitation to become a board member letter should be structured, including directions for writing the content. Feel free to customize it for your own situation and use it to invite people to serve on your own small business advisory board.
Sample Advisory Board Invitation
Your company letterhead
(Prospective Board Member's Name and Address)
Dear (Board Member's Name),
(Introduction—short and direct)
I'm pleased to invite you to become a member of the Consider It Done Business advisory board for 20__ - __.
(Pitch—What are the benefits to this advisory board member?)
(*Don't forget to customize this section of the business invitation letter for the particular person you're inviting. Use bullet points if you have more than two benefits.)
As one of the pioneers of the Virtual Assistant (VA) Industry, Consider It Done provides board members with a stellar opportunity to continue to shape the VA industry. My company, Consider It Done Ltd., needs new direction. Someone with your experience and insight would be the perfect person to help me determine whether we should break new ground or whether there's still value to be gleaned from the traditional territory.
I will certainly cover any expenses you incur from attending advisory board meetings and also offer a $500 honorarium to be paid directly to you or to a charity of your choice.
(Overview of the Company—describe what your company does)
Operating since 2005, Consider It Done Ltd. provides a spectrum of business services to clients, ranging from data-processing to graphics design. First started as a one-woman operation run from a basement, Consider It Done Ltd. now has three full-time employees and a host of part-time contract workers. We continue to focus on filling our clients' needs completely and fully—our company motto is, "We'll do it right."
(Advisory board's mandate and focus—What are the advisory board’s goals?)
The main purpose of the Consider It Done business advisory board is to provide management advice about the direction the company should follow. Specific goals for this year include developing a niche market strategy and revamping and updating the company's online presence by creating and implementing a social media plan.
(Details—What are the responsibilities of board members?)
The board will meet three times this year, with each meeting consisting of a two-hour discussion followed by a dinner. There may also be some follow-up questions and discussions by email. Because of the nature of the matters to be discussed, members will need to sign a confidentiality agreement.
(Close and thank you)
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and to consider being a part of Consider It Done's Advisory Board. I will be in touch with you soon, but in the meantime, I’m available to discuss any questions you may have. You can reach me by phone at (phone number) or via email at (email address).
Follow up Your Board Invitation Letter
Do remember to follow up on this advisory board letter as you said you would. Allow at least a week to pass before you call or text the prospective board member, as people (especially the kind of people you want on your board) are so busy. Opt for a call instead of an email initially, as email is much easier to ignore than a phone call.
Be persistent. It may take time and repeated followup to get through to your recruit and win them over. The best recruits are often weighing involvement in several worthwhile efforts.
Launching Your Board
Once you've recruited members for your advisory board, it's time to plan your first board meeting. Once you've gotten through the recruitment process, good planning for your meetings will ensure you make the most of the outside perspective you now have in your advisory board.