February 1


Myths & Facts About Peer Advisory Boards

By Andrew Martin

February 1, 2024

peer advisory board myths & facts

Considering joining a peer advisory board, but still trying to figure out if it’s right for you? While peer advisory boards have started to gain popularity because of the many benefits they offer, there’s still quite a bit of misinformation and misunderstandings out there about them.

In this article, I’m going to clear things up by debunking some of the most common myths I hear about peer advisory boards.

Peer Advisory Board Myths & Facts

Myth: Only Struggling Businesses Need A Peer Advisory Board

Fact: Businesses At All Stages Can Benefit From Peer Advisory

Some people have the mistaken idea that you only need to join a peer advisory board if your business is in crisis mode and needs strategies to get bailed out.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s what I’ve seen:

Businesses at every stage, from startups to well-established companies, gain immense value from peer advisory boards. Just think about it, Fortune 500 companies all have advisory boards, and those are the top companies in the world. So of course a peer advisory board could be beneficial for other businesses, no matter if they’re thriving or struggling.

These groups provide a platform for sharing diverse perspectives that can illuminate new paths to growth, uncover hidden opportunities, and refine strategies for scaling.

Whether you’re navigating early challenges, looking to expand your market reach, or aiming to level up and innovate within your industry, a peer advisory board offers relevant insights and actionable advice tailored to your specific needs.

It’s about leveraging collective wisdom to make informed decisions no matter how far along you are in your journey, not just finding a lifeline in times of trouble.

Myth: Peer Advisory Boards Are Too Expensive

Fact: The ROI Of Peer Advisory Boards Far Outweighs The Cost

In my experience, joining a peer advisory board is one of the very best investments you can make in yourself and your business.

Consider these stats:

  • One study found that businesses that joined an advisory board saw sales grow 66.8% over the following 3 years compared with a growth of only 22.9% in the 3 previous years for the companies studied.
  • The Harvard Business Review found that entrepreneurs who get coaching and outside professional guidance see an average return on investment of between $4 and $8 for every dollar invested.
  • Another study found that business coaching/advising has an ROI of 5.7 times the investment.
  • A study by the Business Development Bank found that 86% of small and medium-sized business leaders who were surveyed reported a significant positive impact on their organization’s success from having an advisory board, seeing a 24% increase in sales and an 18% boost in business productivity.

Myth: All Peer Advisory Boards Offer The Same Value

Fact: Not All Peer Advisory Boards Are Created Equal

While there are lots of potential benefits from joining a peer advisory board, the truth is not every board out there is worth your time or money.

The value you get from a peer advisory board largely depends on its composition, who’s leading it, and how well it aligns with your business needs and goals.

A great peer advisory board brings together a diverse mix of experiences, industries, and backgrounds, ensuring a wide range of perspectives and insights.

Effective facilitation by an experienced Board Chair plays a huge role in the group’s dynamics, fostering a productive environment for sharing and growth.

Confidentiality is another important aspect to look for in a peer advisory board. You want to make sure you have a safe space where you can be vulnerable and share your issues with people from other industries who aren’t your competitors.

It’s so important that you do your research and choose a board that matches your aspirations and challenges, so you can get quality, actionable advice and strategies that can truly make a difference in your business journey.

Myth: Peer Advisory Boards Are Too Time-Consuming

Fact: Peer Advisory Boards Offer Maximum Impact With Minimal Time Investment

As a business owner, I’m all too aware of how busy we all are. Our schedules are already packed, and the last thing many of us want to do is add something else to our calendar.

But here’s the thing — being a member of a peer advisory board doesn’t take nearly as much time as you’d imagine, and with the kind of returns it offers, it’s more than worth it.

Let me put it into perspective: If you spend 3-4 hours a month with your peer board, that’s only about 2% of the amount of time the average entrepreneur works each month.

I’d say that’s a pretty small time investment for something that can help you overcome your most pressing business issues and result in consistent growth in profits, sales, and productivity.

Myth: Peer Advisory Is Just Another Term For Networking

Fact: Peer Advisory Is The Opposite Of Networking In Many Ways

One of the biggest misunderstandings I hear is that peer advisory groups are the same as networking groups. This couldn’t be any further from the truth.

As I often tell others, peer advisory boards are the complete opposite of networking groups.

In a networking group, you have a bunch of people who are solely interested in selling their products or services, often leading to superficial connections that are primarily transactional. The focus is on what you can get from the interaction rather than what you can give.

On the other hand, peer advisory groups are built on the foundation of mutual support, deep understanding, and shared growth.

Here, the emphasis is on collective problem-solving, sharing experiences, and offering genuine, actionable advice. Everyone is mutually invested and committed to one another’s success.

Members aren’t there to sell to each other (in fact, it’s not allowed at Six Figure Dinners) but to help each other navigate the complexities of business ownership.

This creates a space where vulnerability isn’t just accepted but encouraged, fostering a level of trust and openness that I’ve never seen in typical networking settings.

Myth: Your Industry Is Too Niche For Peer Advisory

Fact: Businesses In Every Industry Can Benefit From Peer Advisory

The belief that your industry is too specialized for peer advisory to be effective is a common misconception.

The truth is the principles of good business—such as leadership, strategy, financial management, and innovation—are universal and transcend industry boundaries.

While the specifics of your business may be unique, the challenges you face in growth, scalability, and efficiency are not.

Peer advisory groups bring together diverse perspectives that can offer fresh insights into these universal challenges, regardless of the industry. I’ve seen firsthand how this approach can lead to innovative solutions that you might not have considered within the echo chamber of your own sector.

Not only that, the external viewpoints can help you identify blind spots and uncover new opportunities for improvement that aren’t always obvious to those deeply embedded within a specific industry.

In Six Figure Dinners, I’ve seen how the cross-pollination of ideas and strategies across industries enriches the advisory experience, making it invaluable for businesses in any niche.

Ready to Join a Peer Advisory Board?

Now that you know the truth about peer advisory boards, it’s time to take the next step.

Six Figure Dinners is where entrepreneurs and founders tackle pressing business challenges, share collective wisdom, and gain insights from shared journeys. Our gatherings, both virtual and face-to-face, are catalysts for innovation, collaboration, and strategic growth, providing members with invaluable “Six Figure Takeaways” that drive business success.

Click here to learn more and join us as a guest at an upcoming event.

Andrew Martin

Andrew is Founder and CEO of Six Figure Dinners. He's also a co-owner of JARA Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in and operates businesses across various industries, including financial services, recruiting, digital media, and real estate. Prior to this, he owned and managed 11 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt locations and a Menchie's Food Truck, which he sold in 2014. Andrew's other investments mainly target small to mid-sized consumer industries.

He earned his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, specializing in Brand Management. Before pursuing his MBA, Andrew led a sales territory at The TREX Company in Boise, ID. Throughout his career, he has volunteered in various capacities, such as offering pro bono mediation services and assisting underprivileged families in improving their living situations.

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