If you have gone to the trouble of starting a business, one of the most valuable things you should do early on is to set up an advisory board.

Scaling any business is hard work, and you only stand to benefit from drawing on perspectives, experience, and networks that augment your own.

A group of advisors committed to your success not only provides a sounding board to test and strengthen your ideas, it gives you access to important competencies and resources.

But many entrepreneurs, especially those in the early stages, find the task of building an advisory board daunting. Whose strengths would complement their own and counter their weaknesses? Who might bring an insight to the table that would otherwise be missed? It can feel like an exercise in knowing what you don’t know. Moreover, most people who have not formalized such a board before haven’t given much thought to what it takes to keep one running effectively.