Gain Insight – Get a Board

Sections of this topic

    Business owners often find it a challenge to lift their heads and view the long term. The day-to-day can be all-consuming.

    Regular quarterly board meetings can encourage a long term view. In addition, it is extremely powerful to entertain different perspectives. This results in a stronger strategy for growth.

    Quarterly board meetings provide an opportunity to review the last quarter’s financials and progress towards company goals. This gives impetus to pull the information together, synthesize it, and consider strateic implications. Of course, it is a good idea to hold monthly internal management meetings to review similar information and stay on top of company and industry trends.

    As owner of the company, you will be chair of the board and determine who participates. Ensure you bring in the backgrounds, experience and viewpoints that will help you most. It matters who you ask to be on your board.

    First of all, you need to trust and respect your board members. A lot of confidential information will be shared with them. In addition, they need to be people you will listen to.

    Be sure to determine the number of people you want on the board. Six to ten in a private corporation is a normal range.

    Select accomplished individuals from a wide variety of professions. For example, a lawyer and CPA are standard members of a board as are leaders in industries related to your markets or future direction. It is a good idea to have a mix of board members who are internal and external to your company. Usually a company’s senior management team will be on the board.

    Choose external professionals with depth and breadth of experience. You want board members with relevant experience to bring to your business. Maybe they have been successful with a business model that is appropriate for your business. Or, they bring skills that your team is weak on. For example, a marketing guru for a growing company is an excellent fit.

    Finally, bring your board in as part of the team. Bounce ideas off them between quarterly meetings. Get them involved in board committees. invite them to employee events. Take them for lunch or dinner.

    Then enjoy the added perspectives and improved strategies.

    For more resources, see the Library topic Business Development.


    Tove Rasmussen, of Partners Creating Wealth, offers business expertise worldwide to help organizations grow, and disadvantaged regions thrive.

    Photo credit: Andy Rennie