people at conference table

Six Reasons Solo PR Pros Should Serve on a Board

Introduction: One of the many benefits of being a Solo PR Pro is the ability to choose the clients and type of work you do. You have the flexibility to work with clients doing work that interests you or for causes that you support. Many Solo PR Pros are also fulfilled by volunteering. It is a meaningful way to give back, stretch your skill sets and connect with a new network of people. Serving on a board delivers all of the benefits of volunteering and can enhance your leadership skills.  In the following post, Solo PR Pro Premium member, Daria Steigman shares six reasons independent pros should serve on a board. This post was first published on Steigman Communications, as Six Reasons Why You Should Serve on a Board.

I love boards. Not sawed lumber, though I imagine that comes in handy if you need to build shelter from the rain. But those management structures that are designed to provide guidance, oversight, and strategic direction to an organization.

I believe that all solopreneurs and small business owners should get some kind of board experience. I’ve served on (and ran) both my 270-unit condominium association board and that of the rather-large IABC chapter in the Baltimore-Washington region. I’m now serving on a business advisory board for a student-run group that initiates and implements micro-development projects in Washington, D.C.

The best boards are run like businesses; and, like any business, they offer an opportunity to gain valuable skills. Boards also challenge us to test our limits and reach beyond our comfort zones.

So here are six big benefits I gained from serving on boards:

  1. Financial management skills, including building and managing million-dollar-plus annual budgets.
  2. Contracting, including bidding out large projects.
  3. Personnel management, including hiring and firing, and dealing with a sexual harassment claim.
  4. Project management (large-scale construction and renovation projects).
  5. Teamwork, including learning how to build consensus.
  6. Leadership.

Now I’d like to ask you: What have I left out? What skills and insights have you gained from serving on a board?
photo credit: Kicking off the investor roundtable at GES 2016 via photopin (license)