An Advisory Committee Validates Your Overall Brand. Period.
Building an Advisory Committee is KEY to getting the “right” direction and the “professional opinions” based on your Business Plan, and your desired results for the organizations’ success.
Thinking carefully about an advisory committee’s purpose will ensure that it will be structured to maximize its contribution to an organization’s success.
In order to validate the JNP brand as “rock solid,” I knew I needed to have professionals represented in each area (area being each segment covered in our deliverable). I broke down the brand into segments such as:
• savvy about boys and girls ages 5 – 12
• children’s education and child development
• children’s’ books and resources: content related to esteem building
• child psychology and counseling
• teachers of all age students
• digital eBooks
• young adults
• professor of english
In order to fill the spots I sought after, I first reached out to local networking—describing the brand, and referring people to the temporary website for general information on this new start up business. I looked to family, and other business relationships to search for candidates.
Almost everyone on the Committee was not someone I previously knew. I had to reach out to each and every one, via phone, and in-person meetings: introduce myself, take along samples of the toys and book initially developed (for initial market testing), show my business plan, and pitch “myself” as a viable Founder and CEO of JNP. If I could get them to believe in me, that was step one; most importantly, I needed them to believe in the Project and it’s Movement.
Over 4 months, I built a really strong, solid Committee hitting all the areas I sought after. They all are contributing their time pro-Bono, and in return, I am aligning them with a great venture, take them to dinner, and supply something ‘fun’ at each meeting to take home! Eventually when the business begins generating revenue, I would like to reciprocate monetarily as well.
To date they have been the driving force in key developmental strategies. Whenever I thought I was making headway towards a launch of the business, we would take 6 steps back and 1 ahead. It never became frustrating at all, as I stayed focused on the end result—an amazing product that could deliver positive reactions to children’s esteem and have parents, caregivers and educators desire this product for their kids—if the Committee, with all their professional wisdom nixed an idea or had me redevelop another one, I knew it would only show positively in the deliverable! That’s how much faith I have in them.
I am very thankful to have such an amazing group of talented professionals working with me on JNP—this is their project too, and their commitment shows it; many thanks to each and every one of JNP’s Advisory Committee.
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Note: This Blog is a chronological diary of a start-up-company—The JNP Project’s Journey—reading it from the start, will broaden your understanding of the path we are on, together, and hopefully, positively influence you in some way!
FYI Tip: This article gives an excellent description and outline of the “why” you should build a Committee.