Most reliable research on Family Business says that those with an advisory board out perform those without one.

This article from Canada is just as relevant here in Australia

 BDC undertook the first-ever Canadian study on the use of advisory boards by SMEs. To do so, it used a rigorous qualitative and quantitative research methodology. The study revealed that 6% of Canadian SMEs have access to an advisory board. Furthermore, they are most often found in SMEs that have been in business for 11 to 20 years, businesses that have 20 or more employees, and businesses operating in the distribution, business services and manufacturing sectors. > The main reasons that prompt SME leaders to set up advisory boards are the desire for complementary expertise, and the need for advice and support in decision making. In fact, 86% of leaders believe that having an advisory board has had a significant impact on the success of their business. Areas of impact most often cited are company vision, innovation, risk management and profitability. > When forming an advisory board, SME leaders usually seek skills in accounting or finance, sales, marketing, and human resources, as well as knowledge of their industry. Generally meeting on a quarterly or monthly basis, most advisory board members offer their advice and expertise free of charge. > Statistical analysis of businesses’ financial variables based on fiscal data from Statistics Canada shows that: − Sales growth was stronger after instituting an advisory board. In the first three years after an advisory board was set up, sales grew 66.8% compared with a growth of 22.9% in the three previous years. − Productivity growth also strengthened after the advisory board was introduced. In the three years after the advisory board was set up, productivity rose an average of 5.9% compared with 3.2% in the previous three-year period. > The study also compares the financial performance of businesses that have advisory boards with similar companies without a board. The study shows that, from 2001 to 2011: − On average, annual sales of businesses with an advisory board were 24% higher than those of the control group during the period. − Productivity (as measured by the ratio of sales to the number of employees) was 18% higher on average for the group of businesses with advisory boards. > It is, therefore, not surprising that 80% of business leaders with advisory boards say that if they had to do it again, they would set up another advisory board.

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