Building Your Board of Directors: Work With People Because They Can Contribute – Not Because It’s Convenient

When you’re building your Board of Directors (BOD) and joining boards of other businesses, you need to keep your focus. It should be an exclusive club that not everyone can join. Don’t get others involved because they’re friendly or you think it may land you a short-term gain. What are your needs and goals? How can others help you satisfy those needs and achieve those goals? After you’ve figured that out, work with those who are a good fit, not a convenient fit.

What Do You Need From a Director?

You may have started a business because you’re very good at making or doing something and you enjoy doing it (which is probably why you’re good at it). But you don’t know all you need to know about business and lack some essential skills. A BOD can give you advice, share some tips, and connect you with other businesses that might help you overcome your weaknesses. If you’re terrible at numbers, hire a bookkeeper or accountant. If you’re disorganized, consider hiring a digital assistant.

Your BOD should also be people who have your back while you have theirs. You’re working together so everyone can succeed in the fastest and least painful way possible. In the future, you could brag about all the mistakes you overcame and all the problems you resolved, or you could prevent mistakes, avoid problems, and meet your sales goals. Your business’s story will be less interesting, but you’ll probably have more money and less stress.

How Do You Choose Board Members?

You have to admit you’re not perfect and you can’t do everything yourself, which can be difficult for some people. If you don’t have a business plan, create one. You can get lots of help, some of it for free, when you do this (SCORE is one option and the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers are another). After your plan is complete, decide what aspects you know the least about. Try to find someone who can help you in that area, while you help them in ways that serve them.

Unless your business is a smashing success from day one, you need to generate a sales pipeline. These are prospects and potential customers within your reach. Your pipeline will leak, so you can’t count on business from all those connected to you.

How Can This Person Help You Reach Your Goals?

You, like all business owners, need long-term connections to generate sales. It’s far easier and cheaper to keep existing customers happy and develop new business from them rather than focusing just on creating new customers. Directors who aid you, in the long run, may also help you generate clients and customers who will stay with you over time.

A possible customer may be a convenient addition to your BOD, and it may or may not be a good idea. Don’t add someone to generate a sale then lose interest in them. They’ll feel used and probably say bad things about you, which is never good when creating business relationships.

You could try to kill two birds with one stone if that person’s a good fit for your BOD. You may get a sale and the person may have many reliable connections that could help you in the long term. They might also bring valuable industry experience and knowledge to your BOD.

Take the Next Step. Contact Coaches for CEOs

Recruiting for your BOD is not about racking up quick scores, the focus should be on success today and in the future. You need the right people on your BOD to help you go in the right direction, not cause a temporary distraction.

Your board of directors can be the foundation of your sales machine. They can champion your business while you return the favor. Contact me to learn more about how cooperating with others can grow your business. Fill out my contact form so we can talk about your company and how you can join a Zoom seminar to learn more.

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