How to Handle your first Board Meeting

After closing your seed round, you’re likely going to be faced with a new challenge: board meetings. It’s easy to think of board meetings as a judging panel for your quarterly performance, but this mindset only leads to worry for founders. Here’s a better way to handle your first board meeting:

The Board Works for You

  1. Ensure each board member leaves the meeting with a task list. Outside of the important help they can provide, this helps focus board member attention on what they can do to help, versus what you might be doing wrong. For example, 3 VP of Engineering candidates or 2 enterprise sales leads before the next meeting.

Ask Key Questions

  1. Begin the meeting with the most important questions for which you need board feedback. If you put these questions later, the meeting could get off track and you might not get time to ask the questions at all. For example: Should we build an Android app? Should we hire 3 more sales development reps? Should we spend time on partnership with Google?

Avoid Surprises

  1. Send the deck out to the board a week before the meeting. In the email, ask them if they have any concerns and offer times to discuss their issues before the board meeting. This helps avoid unpleasant surprises from board member opinions in the actual meeting.

Board meetings create understandable anxiety for founders. Remember you’re in charge — focus on the key questions for your company right now and be prepared to back up your plans with evidence; it will help your first board meeting run smoothly.

Thanks to Kaego Rust and Sean Byrnes for their help with this article.
Photo by
Artem Kniaz

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