Building an Advisory Board

Building an advisory board is an overlooked tool that is very beneficial to a business. It consists of a hand-selected group of advisors that believe in your leadership and are there for the sole purpose of providing strategic advice for your business. They are aligned with your culture and mission and are committed to your success. However, forming the perfect advisory board for you may take quite a bit of planning in order to see a strong return on investment. Do not worry though, that is why we are here to help and give you guidelines before you build your own advisory board!

  1. Know who you are and what you stand for

Complete your Values, Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan first. You must know what you stand for, why you exist, and where you are going. You must be able to articulate this to any prospective board member.  Think about creating an advisory board composed of people who have already achieved what you are trying to achieve so that you can learn from both their successes and their mistakes. In addition, you must be able to share your target customer profiles and your competitive landscape.

  1. Goals/plan

Create a set of objectives you want your company to reach. By outlining your goals, it allows you to select members that help you reach these objectives. This also sets expectations for your advisory board members. It gives them an idea of what their role and purpose will be while serving on your advisory board. By creating these expectations, it allows you to get exactly what your company needs. The wrong advisors will be a waste of time and money and can potentially lead you down the wrong path.

  1. Choosing the right people

Diversify

After outlining what expertise you and your start-up may lack, it is time to start looking for the right people. Selecting the right advisors is just as important as selecting the right employees.  Each person should bring a different background, that way your advisory board will be able to cover every area and offer different perspectives.  For example, cybersecurity is now a critical addition to any board. Typically, you want to aim for a small group ranging from no more than 4 people. If you choose carefully then a small group of people will suffice. The smaller the better since it will make for easier communication between you and your members.

Term of Membership

It is often difficult to recruit advisory board members: it is always more difficult to terminate their membership. Advisory board members tend to get comfortable with their positions and take initiative to remove them as personal criticism. Therefore, it may be useful to appoint members to a specific term (one, two, or three years) so that an active step has to be taken to renew membership, rather than to withdraw it going forward. This issue might be particularly important when an advisory board is first being established.

Mentors

Members of an advisory board are composed of people who truly care about the success of you and your company. They have no legal obligation or equity in the business, they act only as your mentor and their main goal is to give you advice. With that being said, you will want to seek people you know within your professional network. This way they will be more willing to mentor you. However, be careful in choosing friends or family, as they may not always give you the most honest advice. Not to mention having friends or family on your advisory board may result in conflict/relationship issues that you will want to avoid. You need people who will be brutally honest and willing to challenge your ideas in order to bring different perspectives to the table.

While reaching out to people within your professional network may be easier, you should also aim to seek people outside your network. Finding members of higher stature might be more difficult but extremely beneficial for your company. They will add credibility and this will play an important role when your start-up is in the early stages of funding. It will give your company some traction, which is crucial in the development of any start-up. Not only will it add credibility but also it can expand your professional network and form contacts that can be very useful in the long term.

  1. How to find mentors

At ProMontreal entrepreneurs, we offer a mentorship program where anyone part of the Jewish community can apply and we will connect you with the perfect mentor for you. Over the years, we have connected with successful entrepreneurs and lawyers who are eager to see start-ups succeed. If you check out our mentors on our website, you will find a list of them on the page already.

  1. Compensation

It is important to remember that the people on the advisory board have no equity in the company and are merely there to guide you because they want to see your company succeed. In the early stages of your business venture, it’s a good idea to reward them with dinners, entertainment, etc. It does not need to be a lot but still something to demonstrate your gratitude for their help. As your company progresses, then you will want to think about higher compensation, maybe even a salary but that is all entirely up to you.

You may not have all the expertise in any business venture you dive into but that is normal. Advisory boards can be helpful and fulfilling, or they can be a waste of time. In the end, you get out of them what you put into their creation, development, and operation. That being said, there are many tools to help you realize your vision so do not be afraid to take the risk.

Avoid Startup Failure

A startup niche is what? 

What exactly is a niche, and how does it help to avoid startup failure? It primarily refers to a specific target audience rather than a broad, generalized approach. By identifying demographics, geography, economic status, education level, and unique perspectives, you can tailor your messaging to a specific audience.

At a deeper level, it entails understanding your company’s position in the larger economic landscape. What differentiates you from competitors? Do you provide something unique that addresses a specific need, or do current offerings have flaws? Creating a distinct position for your company is critical to preventing failure. Developing a unique position for your company is crucial when identifying a niche market.

What is the value of a startup niche? 

So, why is a startup niche valuable? Contrary to the common belief that targeting a larger audience is better, focusing on a specific niche offers several benefits:

Identity and distinctions 

The first step in determining your startup niche is to devise a strategy for distinguishing yourself from the competition. It’s an excellent opportunity to begin developing your brand identity. 

Knowing how and why you differ from other companies in your industry can help you set higher brand standards for yourself and begin steadily growing your company. Both now and in the future, your branding and marketing materials will be based on this. 

Understanding of the audience 

Knowing your niche entails understanding the perspectives and values of your target audience, which allows for more effective communication and marketing strategies. What are their distinct points of view and core values? 

If you understand these, you’ll be able to communicate with your target audience much more effectively. Your ability to create more persuasive marketing and advertising materials will improve, as will the likelihood of acquiring a customer during a sales call. Better yet, you can use it to increase customer retention. 

Competitive defence

By targeting untapped markets, you can protect your market space from competitors while also lowering marketing costs.

You won’t have to worry about competition invading your economic space if you can create goods and services that are genuinely distinct from those of your competitors. If you target a market that other businesses are completely ignoring, you will benefit from lower marketing costs and increased marketing relevance. 

Offensive capabilities

By focusing on a specific niche, you can be more aggressive in your startup niche targeting, directly competing with your biggest competitors by providing better products or appealing to your mutual audiences in a more relevant, targeted manner. 

An aggressive competitive strategy emphasizes actively changing your industry and improving all the time in order to stay ahead of the competition. The best way to compete with your opponents is to combine defensive and offensive strategies. 

Beginning with the basics 

So, how do you discover your startup niche? Here are a few steps:

1. Analyze your competitors to identify market gaps or opportunities.

Once you’ve decided on a basic business concept, begin researching your main competitors. These do not have to be direct competitors offering the same goods and services as you, but they must be related to your industry. 

How are they currently putting themselves out there? Who is their target audience? What do they think of themselves? You can use this as inspiration to create your own specialty or try to completely deviate from these norms to differentiate your brand. 

2. Conduct market research to determine demographics and trends.

If you have a few ideas for potential target markets or positioning tactics, begin early market research. 

Statistic Canada has excellent demographic data for the entire country, and reading publications from major research institutions can help you better understand different populations. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to eliminate customers who aren’t a good fit for your company and start spotting more profitable prospects. 

3.Gather feedback from potential customers by conducting surveys and focus groups.

Begin conducting surveys and focus groups if you have a prototype for the product you want to sell or something substantial to show people (such as a demo or 3D model of your product). 

You can think about both the demographics you already have in mind and those you haven’t considered yet. What are your customers saying about your product? What do they think of the name of your company? Do they have any suggestions for how to improve? You can get useful advice if you pay attention to the responses of the participants. 

4. Create buyer personas to better understand your target audience and guide your marketing and sales strategies.

At this point, you should have enough data to start creating consumer personas. These serve the same purpose as fictitious characters designed to represent the average person in one of your target audiences. 

For example, you could create a client persona named “Jerry” to represent urban 30-something men. Customer personas can help you define your niche and make it easier to share information about your target market with other departments like marketing and sales. 

Finding your niche 

It is not difficult to identify a profitable niche. However, you must conduct the necessary research. Follow these steps to identify a profitable niche in which your startup can thrive and succeed.

How to Reap Rewards with Instagram Captions

How to reap rewards with Instagram captions. One of the most crucial tools you have for boosting audience engagement on Instagram is the caption. Your followers may be drawn to your images and videos, but it’s the caption that persuades them to share, like, and comment on your post. Your Instagram captions can also boost sales, expand your social media reach, and help you gain more Instagram followers.

You might be wondering, how can you be certain that you’re utilizing the proper captions to foster accomplishment? Here are the tools you need to learn to reap rewards with your Instagram captions.

1. Grab their attention right away

Like most social media platforms, Instagram is all about quick exchanges of information.

On a regular basis, your customers scroll through dozens of images. Since Instagram condenses your description to just three or four lines, you must grab their attention quickly if you want them to stay on your page.

On the news stream, you have even less of a chance of grabbing your reader’s attention because only the first phrase of your caption will be visible. As such, your opening sentence should be written to instantly capture the reader’s attention by doing the following:

• Pose a question: your customer will want to know if you have addressed it.

• Include visuals: make your brand’s personality pop out by using emojis.

•Make a statement: say something that you know will catch the attention of your audience.

• Introduce your call to action first: as soon as a customer views your material, what you want them to do should be clear. Keep in mind that concise lines will attract your audience’s attention more quickly than most wordy Instagram captions. Keep it straightforward and to the point to get your message across.

2. Be a call-to-action master

Your call-to-action (CTA) is the most crucial component of your Instagram caption. It’s how you encourage your followers to interact with your page by leaving a comment on your post or clicking the link in your bio.

However, it is important to refrain from including too many CTAs in a single post. Consequently, having too many CTAs can take away from the caption’s clear purpose. Instead, you should precisely highlight what you want your customer to do for each of your Instagram posts. Below are some examples of the intentions of Instagram posts. Do you want the reader to:

  • Visit your website?
  • Click the link in your bio?
  • Invite their friends to a post?
  • Shop for a sale?
  • Subscribe to your newsletter?
  • Participate in a giveaway or contest?
  • Save your post for later?
  • Find the link from your stories?
  • Send you a DM?
  • Chat in the comments?
  • Leave an (insert emoji) if they agree?
  • Tag someone?

Try a few different possibilities because it might be challenging to predict which CTA phrases will result in the greatest response from your audience. You can choose which call-to-action phrases are best to employ in the future by evaluating your call-to-action phrases’ by their levels of engagement.

3. Tell stories

Spice up your Instagram captions with some storytelling.

A compelling narrative will strengthen your customers’ emotional connection to your brand and help them understand the advantages of your product or service.

When incorporating a compelling narrative into your captions, you should:

  • Show emotion: grab the reader’s attention with well-written descriptive information that is intended to help them envision or better understand the products you are selling.
  • Use appropriate language: find, use, and maintain the voice tone that works with your audience. Your stories will be more relatable if you use the same language as your intended audience.
  • Try being authentic: make your brand look more genuine by discussing your personal experiences. By sharing your personal experiences, you can show your audience that you are more than just a nameless organization.

4. Use sensory language

Another way to reap the rewards of Instagram captions is to find ways to connect emotionally with your followers, such as using sensory language. An Instagram account must have the appearance and feel of a personal journal, with authentic, moving, and engaging content, in order to successfully appeal to its followers.

Thus, you should write Instagram captions that will enable users to thoroughly immerse themselves in the experience you’re sharing, whether you’re a large corporation or a little business. Using sensory words will allow your content to be experienced through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

The types of senses you should consider and appeal to, include:

  • Visual: concerned with sight, colour, form, and appearance
  • Tactile: concerned with touch and abstract conceptions
  • Smell: concerned with smells and how they affect our emotions
  • Taste: concerned with the things we can taste and experience
  • Motion: concerned with movements and how readers experience words
  • Auditory: concerned with hearing, noises, and even music

5. Utilize hashtags

Lastly, without the appropriate hashtags, Instagram captions are worthless. Hashtags on Instagram, as on most social media platforms, make your content searchable and guarantee that the relevant customers can find you. The simple act of including hashtags in your captions can greatly increase your account reach.

You can add a lot of important Instagram hashtags at the end of your captions, but it’s also worthwhile to think about how you can weave them in naturally with @mentions of relevant people.

Keep in mind that the finest Instagram captions typically include a variety of hashtags. You must choose trending ones that are attractive to your intended audience, but it is also important to consider specialized and more focused hashtags.

By creating your own custom hashtags, you may even entice your followers to participate and post user-generated content in your Instagram comments. A strong brand hashtag will promote your business, especially if you utilize it in conjunction with a contest or giveaway. For instance, you could offer a prize to everyone who shares a photo of themselves using your product with the hashtag associated with your business.

Keep an eye on what’s popular in your market, as well as the hashtags your competitors and brand influencers are using. This can help you if you need more ideas for hashtags to employ.

Make changes to your Instagram captions

It’s simple to ignore captions on a visual social media platform like Instagram. However, if you’re not maximizing your Instagram captions, you can be passing up important opportunities to engage, connect with, and convert clients. Instagram captions can be an essential part of growing and maintaining a business.