LEARNING THROUGH LISTENING: The Value of Advisory Boards for Fast-Growth Small Businesses

- LEARNING THROUGH LISTENING: The Value of Advisory Boards for Fast-Growth Small Businesses -
Written by Jennifer Lawton

Net Daemons Associates (NDA) is a fast-growth company. I wouldn't have realized this had I not joined Young Entrepreneur's Organization. I would have continued to wonder why I always felt, at the end of another year of doubled revenues and employees, that I needed to hibernate so that I could wake up and do it again. I'd always thought, in my infinite non-schooled sense of the business world, that this was just the way it worked. "That's how it works. It just IS!"

I needed only one YEO forum meeting to realize that I was wrong. I have since come to realize that there are many other aspects of the business world about which I have sometimes been wrong, sometimes right, and sometimes both right and wrong. A common thread in my awakening has been my use of and participation in a number of groups and boards that continue to broaden my vision.

Building on success
NDA is not only rapidly growing and on the edge of the "really happening" business world, it is a cool and fun company. I am the co-founder, and have no prior business experience or education. We are a completely bootstrapped company that has been profitable from day one, based nearly entirely on word-of-mouth marketing. We are successful by many definitions of success. Again, without the help of others looking in, I would not have realized that not only am I successful, but so, too, is NDA.

NDA has an advisory board. This group consists of six individuals, each with solid expertise and a reputation in a different area of business. These advisors meet with our Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. They are not paid beyond the "take home value" of our meetings, and the ability to participate in what we are doing.

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