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5 ways to wow your board
We’ve been there. The board meeting is tomorrow even though it seems like just yesterday that we finished the actions from the last one. We’ve done the late nights and last-minute scrambles to make sure our board packages are polished and our narrative is tight. We’ve seen what works well, and what doesn’t.
Board meetings can be stress-inducing, but they should also be a valuable source of guidance and feedback to help you run your business. The key is preparation, but it’s also presentation. We’ve seen enough to know what advisors and Directors expect, so we’re sharing our Top 5 ways you can wow your board in your next meeting.
Demonstrate focus on the 2-3 most critical business needs. As a founder you have a lot on your plate and can’t be all things to all people, so let the board see your focus on priorities that move the needle, and the things you do better than anyone else.
be on top
of your financials
Know your KPIs cold: sales, margin, net income, customer satisfaction, stickiness – — whatever’s on your scorecard.
More importantly, understand the drivers:
- What brought you to current state and how are you tracking against plan?
- What is your revenue run rate?
- What underlying assumptions drive your financial projections?
- What is your customer acquisition cost/cost of sales compared to customer lifetime value/contract value?
These are just a few examples. The better you understand your P&L, the more productive your board meeting will be.
Boards don’t like surprises, so forecast with care. Give confidence that you know where the market is heading, and that you’re guiding the business strategically. Enterprise business? Walk through your pipeline, what’s booked & what prospects are developing, and flag the risks.
Consumer-facing? Talk about what’s trending and any fruitful channels that can boost your growth.
Being predictable also means being consistent. Use the same agenda and format so your board knows what to expect and when to ask the right questions.
Know what you require to deliver your business commitments and lay out a plan. This may mean hiring or procuring additional resources. You may need to raise capital; be clear on the tangible milestones you can achieve with funding and demonstrate you will be a thoughtful steward of investment.
The more specific your plan, the better guidance a board can give you. Set SMART goals, with specific and achievable action items. Detail who is responsible, the timing, and when/how you’ll measure success.
Also be specific about your asks of the board. Know what you want in advance and tell them exactly how it will propel your business forward.
If you follow these 5 tips, you’ll instill confidence in your board, and in return you’ll gain their support for how you want to lead your business forward. You’ve got this!
You don’t have to do it alone. If you’d like help with board meeting prep, please reach out to our team of financial experts, controllers, and fractional CFOs.