Why and How of Advisory Boards – Business Owner Interview Series with Jenifer Ross at the W@tercooler
BoardMyBiz.com recently had the opportunity to interview Jenifer Ross, the owner and founder at W@tercooler. W@tercooler is a coworking space in Tarrytown, NY, where entrepreneurs come together and have a place to work, as well as a space that allows for the free flow of ideas. W@tercooler is a shared space that promotes the idea of community in the workplace among people with independent interests. At W@tercooler, it is very likely that one professional may have a question and the answer to that question can be found by walking across the room or peeking your head into the next space.
My conversation with Jenifer was more about how the introduction of BoardMyBiz.com and the presence of advisory boards could benefit her and the people that occupy W@tercooler. Earlier this year, Jenifer invited BoardMyBiz.com CEO, Katheen Murray, to speak at W@tercooler in order to inform their group of entrepreneurs about the benefits of creating an advisory board.
Jenifer gave BoardMyBiz.com a new perspective on the practice and concept of advisory boards. She hasn’t had any formal experience on either side of the advisor/advisee relationship, but I believe that she is still a source of valuable knowledge because of the potential that she’s created in W@tercooler. Jenifer’s business actually exhibits principles of advisory culture, in that the communal aspect of this business environment enables each entrepreneur that decides to inhabit this space to be surrounded by a group of potential advisors. This is because there are a multitude of professionals with varying specialties who have the capability to advise in certain aspects of neighboring ventures.
Even if the answers aren’t in the office, the entrepreneurs at W@tercooler would benefit greatly from the knowledge that there are people out there that can help their business, who know certain aspects of their business for which they may not possess an expertise, and there are ways of finding and getting in touch with this community that is willing and enthusiastic to help small businesses succeed. BoardMyBiz.com being introduced into this sort of environment could mean a great deal to a lot of people, and lighten their burden significantly.
At this stage in her business development, Jenifer is looking for growth. She’s already gone through the labor of getting W@tercooler established, but expansion can try the foundation of any business. This is where an advisory board would be practically essential. Individuals that can constructively challenge her with diverse ideas who have already been down this road, and know what it takes to accomplish this goal could become indispensable parts to ensure that the transformation is as successful as possible. At the most basic level, advisors are experienced problem solvers. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting off, building up, or growing out, there will be problems and there is no better teacher than experience.
“ One area that I am grappling with now is my expansion plan. I’ve gotten myself off to a solid start, but I lack the critical knowledge and skills to take this business to the next level. It’s an empowering feeling to turn to one of my advisors and ask a specific question about licensing, cash flow or lease agreements and know that I am going to be guided and advised with my businesses future success in mind.” –Jenifer Ross
We thank Jenifer for being supportive of our initiatives. She is registered on www.BoardmyBiz.com as a Business Owner. And like many entrepreneurs, she could also register as an Advisor as she has so much to offer others. Thank you, Jenifer!
Barron Rosborough, a senior at the University of Rochester, has been offering the blog a series of articles over the past year. Barron is a Creative Writing and Media Production double major. Please enjoy his articles and send us your feedback!
Photo credit: Margaret Fox
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