Choosing the right people for your board of directors is no easy task. You need to be able to trust the people on your board to help made decision that will impact every aspect of your startup. For many young entrepreneurs, the selection process is one of the most difficult parts of starting a business. By using the following advice, you’ll be able to confidently select your board of directors.
Know what you Need
If you do not know what you need, you are going to have a difficult time selecting your board. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses will allow you to select the right people for the board. You’ll want board members who can help improve your weaknesses and also capitalize on your strengths to build a strong foundation. Make sure you know the role each board member will play as well. It’s important to diversify the board to make sure you are getting a variety of expertise.
More isn’t Always Better
A lot of young entrepreneurs will start picking people for their board, and before they know it, they’ve hired 12-15 people. The more people you have on your board, the more opinions you are going to have when it comes time to make tough decisions. I believe the ideal number of board members for a startup is 5. It is enough to have people with a variety of experience, but not too many where it becomes overwhelming. You can also spend more time making sure each board member has the best interest of the company in mind when you are appointing less board members.
Diversify the Board
When you’re first searching for candidates, you may think it is important to have five individuals with the same background and experience. In that instance, you may run into an issue with creativity. It is a good idea to diversify your board so you get a wide range of experiences. This diversity will allow you to look at things from many different angles and make the most informed and accurate decision for your company.
Don’t Rush It
Your board members should not be chosen at the drop of a hat. You need to take your time and think through each decision. Feel free to have multiple conversations with each candidate to make sure they’re the right fit for your company. Take some time to forecast where the company is going and if each member will be a good fit in the long run, too. The people you put on your board are going to be helping you make decisions that will directly impact the future of your company for years to come. Do your due diligence and make sure you are choosing the right people.
Your board of directors will be one of the greatest assets to your company, and choosing the right people is one of the most important decision you will make as an entrepreneur.