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Startup Guides Published:  Feb 1, 2019 2 min read

How to run a successful board meeting for a startup

Running a board meeting can be difficult and lengthy at times. Conflicting agendas, confusion about the information being reviewed, running overtime, being unfocused, the list goes on…

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of useful tips to help you manage your board effectively, ensuring that your board members are focusing on important issues and discussing your company’s strategy going forwards.

1. Create a board report

Send your materials to board members a few days in advance of the meeting so that everyone reads them and comes prepared. You’ll get the most value out of advisors if they’ve had a few days to process and come up with ways to help.

2. Set a schedule. Stick to it.

Set out how many minutes you would like to spend on each topic. Include a layout of the various topics and the time allotted in your board materials. Make sure that for each topic you are discussing the key points, rather than wasting time updating people.

3. Keep it simple stupid

Provide materials that are clear and succinct enough, as board members will have different areas of expertise and will have to get up to speed with topics that they are not as familiar with.

4. Don’t skip on KPIs

Have a set of KPIs that you can use every time. This will help focus the discussion and provide a framework for the company’s aims.

5. Provide a financial report

Provide a financial statement with its current balance and profit and loss for the period since the last board meeting.

6. Pick a small number of topics to focus on

Choose a small number of major topics to focus on in the meeting. These should be included in the board materials which are sent in advance. Try to get opinions from all the various board members, so as to have a more representative discussion.

7. Make sure you take notes

Taking board minutes can be a useful tool for reviewing any issues that were discussed in the board meeting. It can ensure more accurate and effective decision-making. Minutes can also be used to archive matters that require board consent.

8. Follow up

Follow up with people who consented to take on certain tasks in the board meeting. These can be recorded in the board minutes.

9. Communicate between board meetings

A great way to make your board feel more in the loop is simply by adding them to your company newsletters and marketing comms mailing lists. Board meetings should not be the only forum in which to discuss major issues. If there is an problem that affects board members and important stakeholders, communicate these in real-time so members can take more immediate action.


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