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How to Build an Advisory Board Why you should consider building an advisory team alongside your business plan -- and how to get started.

By Katherine Duncan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Think you're too small or too new to need a board? Not if it's an advisory board populated by pros with specific expertise regarding the ins and outs of your company. Startups of all types can benefit from teaming with the kind of people who can help them grow to become established businesses--at little to no expense. For advice on how to get started, we spoke with Boston-based business coach Susan Hammond, author of the Advisory Board Kit.

What is the advantage of having an advisory board?
Many times entrepreneurs and business owners get myopic. They're just trying to get their business off the ground, and they forget to look at the big picture. Your advisors won't, and they also become your advocates and network on your behalf.

What types of experts should I look for when assembling the board?
Start by conducting an honest skills assessment of yourself and your senior management team (if you have one), and figure out where the holes are. If you know what your goals are and you know what your skills assessment looks like, there will be a gap somewhere--those are the expert advisors you're looking for.