1. Make sure you will be able to compensate the adviser
While startup advisers do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts in some cases, all of them will require compensation for the amount of time they spend helping your business out. You need to determine whether their price tag is something your business can match. Agree on terms before bringing someone on to avoid any sort of hassle down the line.
2. Get an adviser that fits your needs
Identify what your business needs the most help in. There is no reason to spend money on an industry professional or focus in an area that is doing well enough on its own and does not need any extra attention. Instead, the startup advisers you bring on to your team should address areas your business is falling behind in and will need for continued growth.
3. Know what you are gaining
Most of the time, startup advisers will have a gain of their own in mind. You need to make sure that the startup adviser is bringing to the table something you really want and need for your business, and that what the adviser wants out of the partnership is achievable for your business. If your goals do not align, then you should look for someone else.
4. Look for an adviser who has a lot of questions
If an adviser is giving you good, quality questions at an interview, that is a pretty good sign he or she is interested in what your business has to offer. Advisers will ask a lot of questions before diving in, just like investors will; they want to be sure their effort is well placed. This is also a good sign of a thorough individual who will bring the same personality trait to the table with your business.
5. Make sure the adviser cares about what you have to offer
You need to find an adviser that knows your industry and market and can identify with what you bring to the table. A startup adviser who is passionate about the solution you are offering to your customers is the one you need. An adviser who cares about the space you occupy and interact with is going to be the most beneficial for your business.