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As we near the end of 2010, many of you can reflect back on how difficult the last two years have been. While the recession is not completely over, there are signs that we’re at least a little bit in charge of our own destiny. It’s a great time to do your business plan, budget and launch an advisory board – a personal board of directors. Don’t go it alone!

An advisory board is a group of people you consult regularly to get advice and feedback. There’s no need to hold monthly board meetings; just be sure to keep in touch and reach out when you need their individual counsel. Choose diverse people who can each uniquely contribute to your thinking. Be sure to invite people who know more than you about something, are better than you are at something, or offer a different point of view. Consider having one or two key employees join your board as well.

Your board will challenge you to think differently. They’ll hold you accountable for your business plan. Start doing the things that bigger companies do and soon you’ll be bigger and/or more profitable as well.

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