The Most Successful Way to Make Financial Changes Stick is One Advice-Givers Don’t Talk About

As an entrepreneur you want to make the best changes that bring the highest possible returns on your startup investment. Throughout your company’s growth, you want to be mindful of who holds the levers of decision-making for your company. Your board, your investors, and your team will play a huge role in how your startup grows.

By understanding who you need to make business decisions and understand the dynamics of your board and investors, you will be able to make the proper moves to help your company grow.

Fostering a Culture of Accountability

Whether it is picking the right talent or improving your company’s processes, learning how to oversee decisions that impact the company is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur.

The most important factor to having a successful board is ensuring that the people in your company are held accountable for their actions. If your board only holds your CEO accountable, for example, while non-board members know little or nothing about the company, then the board is failing you. The best way to change this dynamic is to involve the board in your company’s progress.

How will you be held accountable if you are forced to make tough decisions on your company’s behalf? Why should any non-board member ever be privy to what you are doing as an entrepreneur? At the end of the day, you are the one deciding how much money your startup is going to make. How many members of your board truly understand the ins and outs of that work and how the decisions you make are going to affect your business?

In a situation like this, you need to have open communication and transparent debates with your board about your business priorities. I strongly recommend asking a senior board member to serve as your VP of finance. A person like this will hold you accountable while at the same time provide you a sounding board.

Open Communication is Essential to Your Company’s Success

Asking for candid advice is not always easy. Your board members may feel invested in what your company is doing. You may not want to appear weak. Your team may not want to give that information because they don’t want to risk losing their job. There are certain things you can do to mitigate these issues.

The biggest thing you can do is to create an open environment at your company and a culture where your team is comfortable expressing their thoughts about your decisions. You have to make sure everyone sees what value they bring to your company.

I find that people are most amenable to trusting their peers more than they are to trusting a CEO if they feel that their opinion is being ignored. I would suggest seeking out people you trust, and even though they may not agree with you, they will give you honest and unbiased advice that you can take back with you to your board.

Don’t Talk About Your Business Behind Closed Doors

You may think that you are being honest by putting your thoughts and feelings into a conversation with your team. In truth, you are not. When you don’t share your thoughts with your team on an ongoing basis, you are setting yourself up for failure. After all, your team needs to trust that you are making the right decisions for your company, not the wrong ones that will undermine it.

I’ve seen a number of startups fail simply because they didn’t have a culture where all members of the team were willing to openly discuss and discuss what they think. You should talk to members of your team regularly about what you are doing as an entrepreneur, but I would go one step further and ask for feedback on decisions the board and investors made.

You and your board need to be open about your disagreements. You don’t want to have that type of platform where disagreements can blow up into lawsuits or blackouts. There are ways to make your board members completely comfortable about you and your company and still ensure that you are doing the right thing.

Open Communication is Essential to Your Company’s Success

After a while, the open communication I mentioned in this article will inevitably lead to disagreements. But rather than taking this as a negative, I believe that this is an opportunity for improvement. Once you establish the right set of guidelines for doing things the right way, your eventual tensions will build toward a positive resolution.

As an entrepreneur, it is always important to keep your team up to date on what you are doing and why. Your business depends on it.

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