How to Organize Board Meetings for Tech Startups
It starts with a small group of programmers and a big idea. Tech startups are today’s most exciting business ventures, but they quickly meet unforeseen challenges. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs get a head start on good management and governing practices by bringing in experienced advisors or directors. Small teams of software designers often lack the critical business skills new companies need to navigate high-risk situations that could jeopardize the whole company. While a startup’s board may consist of the founder and investors, one of the first steps toward good governance is bringing on a chairperson with business experience. Keep your chair up to speed and engaged by implementing business portal software from the beginning. Unlike most traditional corporations, tech startups need experienced chairpersons to take an involved approach to oversight.
The next thing you need to know is how to organize a board meeting. It’s routine for most established corporations, but if you’re new to business, some pointers can help. Your schedule for meetings should be drafted months in advance, determining deadlines for financial reports and important memos. You can visit Aprio for more information on last minute updates and meeting invitations. Directors are responsible for ensuring that a company’s actions are in compliance both its own policies or bylaws and municipal, state or provincial and federal legislation.
Before a meeting, you (or your administrator) will have to compile board material binders including the agenda, legal requirements, draft minutes of past meetings and financial statements. Digital board portals are the fastest and most secure way to distribute board materials to directors. Administrators can organize these sections in tabs that are easy to read on tablets and laptops. Print may still play a role in your near-paperless office, however. Financial statements in particular are cumbersome to read on most devices’ screens, so even if they are initially distributed digitally, make print copies ready for reference at the meeting itself.
Just before meetings, distribute agendas to all attendees. An agenda itemizes every discussion point and lists the member responsible for it, whether it’s the chairperson, secretary, CEO or CFO. Archived minutes from previous meetings should be also be distributed only a day or two beforehand. Archiving documents is simple and straightforward with Aprio Boardroom, one of the portals that big data companies like Numeris and Navarik have adopted.
Implementing board portal software will seem like second nature for tech startups. However, it’s important not to discount user experience and balance function with ease-of-use. The experienced executives who can provide valuable business guidance to your company may not be quite as tech-savvy as your programming team, even if you’re not interested in people resistant to digital workspaces. Make secure file-sharing, digital signatures, and remote resolution voting simple with a platform like Aprio’s. The sooner you adopt best practices for governance, the better equipped you’ll be to make the leap into a mid-size enterprise. Chairs require simple and instant access to financial reports, memos, and motions to guide a young company’s growth. Invest in board portal software sooner than later.