One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is learn to run a board meeting. The board members are there to provide you with feedback about how you’re running your company, and as these are experienced business heavyweights, their opinions are vitally important.
DO: Schedule meetings with plenty of time. Many members of your board are going to have investments or ties to other businesses, so will appreciate you respecting their busy diaries. Planning ahead is going to help you structure your work too. Say you’re about to rebrand or similar, and you want to update your board members on your progress, you can schedule its launch in plenty of time to start getting feedback from customers and peers. Time is money, as they say, so keep it in mind.
DO: Get your materials out to people in advance. There’s nothing worse than wasting time in a meeting. Especially if your meeting is with busy, professional people. If you, the CEO, can’t be bothered to prepare in advance, why should your investors and board members bother showing up at all? Even spending 10 minutes faffing about will tick at least one person off, so spend a day during the week prior and get everything you want to say prepared.
DO: Show real-time information. Your board members should already have on-demand access to the figures they need, presented in the way they want to see. Here at Futrli, our board want see the figures in different ways, so we have created bespoke dashboards to suit them. When it comes to your monthly board meeting, you’ll be able to bring up all of the latest figures instantly, saving a load of time and energy. Print it out for takeaways, so the board see you’ve covered all bases.
DO: Let everyone speak. While it might feel like it’s up to you to do the talking in your board meeting, remember these people are there with you for a reason. Be it their creativity, experience, or investment, each and every one of them will have great ideas which will likely benefit your company. New ideas don’t form from the imagination of just one person; usually, a collaborative effort will result in a creative and unique idea.
DON’T: Be greedy with their time. Be flexible. If there’s a long commute for board members, suggest a video call. The offer may not be taken up, but your consideration will present you in a positive light. Remember that the board probably don’t want to be meeting in the evenings, as much fun as it might be for some.
DON’T: Bore them with historical information. People are bored by information that won’t impact them or cannot be changed. You’ll really set yourself apart as an SME if you can bring up a forecast of your figures in the meeting. Forecasting will also enable you to show the areas of your business you’re looking to improve, and having the ability to identify and act on them will make you look like a determined and successful and, above all, worthy partner.
DON’T: Be disheartened afterwards. If your board members are telling you the honest truth, your time and money are well spent. Pick yourself up, and start implementing those changes.