This is an important question when it comes to Series A and Series B startups.
Founders often wonder:
- Am I spending the right amount of time with my board?
- Am I over-indexing there?
- Is it time well spent?
Some companies are focused on a four-week cycle for board meetings which is too fast. At that pace there’s not enough time for board prep or substantial conversation because usually not much has changed in four weeks.
A monthly email update is a better use of time and resources than a monthly meeting. And, it still maintains a level of engagement for the board members.
Ideal cadence for board meetings
The best tempo for board meetings is every six to eight weeks. You can even err toward eight weeks.
This establishes six or seven board meetings a year, which is important in keeping your board involved.
While founders do their due diligence when it comes to researching VCs before they take money from on the front end, it’s equally as important to stay connected to those same people throughout the year.
VCs are working for your company. They’re fiduciary. They have a lot of capital at play.
The more connected VCs are to the company the more likely they are to help the company and to help the founder when things get tough.
Maintaining a connection with VCs and board members
Establishing regular meetings ensures your investors and board members are behind you in what you are doing.
That means they need to receive frequent updates so they’re aware of any issues in the business.
And, even when times aren’t tough, board members may be able to help you reel in that big recruit to complete your management team. VCs tend to be great sales people, so they’re good at recruiting.
Maintaining a solid relationship with the VCs and board members can also be helpful for a temperature check. They are the perfect people to tell you whether the company is fundable right now and whether you would be able to raise capital. That’s important and helpful information for the management team.
VCs are in the market all day. They’re talking to new companies and sourcing deals.They usually have a pretty good pulse on the milestones required for a Series A or Series B, or even a Series C. They will give you direct feedback.
Consistent board meetings are also a great way to develop the management team at a startup. Before each board meeting, the executive team will need to prepare a short presentation for the board that will force them to think critically, and to consider the progress since the previous meeting.
The meetings become an opportunity for senior team members to sharpen their presentation skills and learn about what’s important to the VCs. They are a great development opportunity.
And the stronger the management team the better shot the company has of being successful.
We’re all in this together
Setting up regular board meetings, ideally every six to eight weeks, will ensure the board is in tune with what you’re doing and be able to help you should the need arise.
And, most importantly, they will develop a connection that transcends the financial pull of investors, and becomes more emotional. At some point it will become a sense of “We’re in this boat together!”
And, then, you will all be paddling together, in the same direction toward success.
If you have any questions on VCs or fundraising, please contact us.