Why SMBs NEED Board Meetings
Running a small or medium-sized business can be a whirlwind of activity. With countless daily tasks and operational challenges, dedicating precious hours to monthly board meetings might seem daunting (or even unnecessary).
However, here’s the cold, hard truth: if you can’t afford 1 hour a month to sit down with other team members to ask: “What are we doing?” – then you’re not doing it right.
If you’re a small business owner or manager, it’s time to add regular board meetings to your schedule. Board meetings can become an invaluable tool for driving growth, improving financial performance, and maximising the value of your business.
And for this article, we spoke to Outmin’s financial experts to show you why you should prioritise board meetings – and how to do it right.
The Power of Stepping Back
SMBs often get caught up in day-to-day operations, unintentionally overlooking the bigger picture and long-term planning.
However, board meetings provide a structured opportunity for business leaders to step back, assess their company’s direction, and evaluate progress.
For instance, let’s take one hospitality group we collaborated with, where management accounts revealed significant expenses in maintaining their hotel restaurant.
This valuable insight was brought up during a board meeting. What started out as an item on the agenda turned into fertile ground for in-depth discussions with the restaurant manager, fractional CFO (fCFO), and other relevant stakeholders.
And once the broader team became aware of it, they could pool their resources and evaluate which expenses were necessary – and which had to be cut.
Through board meetings, you’ll be able to reflect on critical issues, such as financial challenges, emerging opportunities, and operational improvements, so your business stays on track and remains adaptable in the face of ever-changing market dynamics.
Board Meetings: Getting Everyone on the Same Page
One of the greatest challenges for any business, especially small or mid-sized, is maintaining alignment across different teams and departments. Sales is pulling to one side, Operations to another, and Finance is frustratedly adding up numbers that don’t add up.
At the end of the day, this isn’t just annoying. Miscommunication and lack of coordination hinder progress and slow down growth.
Board meetings serve as a critical flywheel for driving synergy within the organisation. By bringing together sales, operations, finance, and other key stakeholders, board meetings create an environment where misalignments can be identified and promptly addressed.
In particular, there can be a lot of confusion if sales and operations aren’t in alignment.
Imagine that the sales team announces plans to onboard three new big-ticket clients.
During the board meeting, the operations team can evaluate their capacity to handle the increased workload and determine if additional resources or hiring are necessary.
At the same time, the finance team can analyse the long-term financial implications of these new clients on the company’s goals and objectives.
It’s easier to spot deals that look good on paper but cost more than they bring in once you have the whole team together, looking at the numbers that matter.
And when you speak to Conor Stanley, Head of our CFO services, about this topic, he won’t fail to mention that board meetings are a fantastic opportunity for retrospective analysis and regrouping.
This is something many businesses are hesitant to do. If you keep chasing the next lead and then the next, you hardly have the time to look back. But to grow, you have to know what went right (and what went wrong) in the past.
And by using small business board meetings to review past performance, you can gain valuable insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
The collaborative nature of these meetings encourages diverse perspectives and fosters a creative environment where new ideas can flourish. And if you add an objective fractional CFO to the mix, you’ll be able to talk about numbers – without worrying about office politics.
What Should Your SMB Board Meeting Agenda Look Like?
Every business board meeting will look different. However, here are some key items that should be there:
Of course, you can swap things around or add/remove them depending on your priorities. You’ll want to frontload important items to ensure you have enough time to discuss them!
Similarly, if you’ve been dealing with a pesky pain point for a while, it’ll make sense to spend 30% of your meeting on it, and deprioritise something else. Your agenda will also depend on the size of your team, so use ours as a guideline and then fashion the one that works like a charm for you.
Best Practices for Effective Board Meetings
To maximise the effectiveness of your board meetings, consider our team’s golden rules:
Unleashing the Full Potential of Your Small Business Through Board Meetings
There’s power in setting aside time to complete an activity that matters. You know it when you reluctantly take the day off to drive somewhere with your family or simply schedule some “me” time.
Board meetings are your business’s “me” time.
It’s your opportunity to sit down with your team and discuss everything that went right or wrong and plan on how you can improve your performance. And yes, it won’t immediately deliver revenue – but you’ll see the returns shortly.
After all, if you can’t see it – you can’t improve it. Your board meetings give you clear glasses, so you can keep growing stronger and stronger.
And if you really want to fully unleash the potential of board meetings, consider partnering with an fCFO from Outmin. Our fractional CFO team can provide objective insights, facilitate discussions, and contribute valuable financial expertise tailored to the needs of small businesses.
Contact us today to learn more about how Outmin’s fCFO services can support your business’s growth and lead you to success!