By Carl Grant on behalf of Cooley, LLP

Previously on Corporate Growth…Capital Style, I wrote a post that included 20 tips from Cooley, LLP, to help small and emerging-growth companies have successful and productive board meetings.

But, how do you prepare for your first board meeting?

As I stated in that previous post, it’s important to set in place good governance practices that demonstrate your company is operating effectively and building value. A large part of sound corporate governance is having a solid board that meets regularly. This is also a great way to get investors informed and involved.

Keeping investors informed is especially important for companies who recently completed a round of funding or are newly backed by private funds. As investors begin to oversee their investment in your business, it’s important to operate as a mature company with well polished board meeting materials.

This is also very important for family-run businesses, which tend operate more informally. When a family-run business takes in outside capital, it is especially important to treat the first board meeting, and any thereafter, as a serious affair since new outside stakeholders are joining the fold.

Prior to the board meeting, it is essential to develop a comprehensive agenda and supporting materials that detail topics for the meeting. To accompany the agenda, which should be distributed to board members in advance of the meeting, it is also important to include a letter from the chairman or company CEO to outline all that is required of the board members.

The next task that must be complete prior to the meeting is a PowerPoint presentation that follows the agenda and will help keep the meeting flowing. Your deck should include detailed financial reports with charts and graphs that are easy to understand and provide adequate information for the board to make sound business decisions. For a sample of a PowerPoint deck that Cooley developed, click here.

As we say in business, preparation is the key to success. By following these suggestions, you will be able to get off on the right foot.

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