Regardless of size, advisory boards can help businesses learn more about their organizations, their products, and their sales staff. In downturns, having a relationship with key customers and learning what they need is key.
Advisory boards also help companies with small marketing and research budgets stay current with trends. It also gives firms an outside sounding board to test new products or initiatives. Customers, vendors, and service providers are all potential advisers.
Having created several advisory boards, I can tell you that it is quite easy to do and requires little expense.
If done correctly, the insights, reward and feedback can be invaluable.