Guides

Everything you need to know about board management.

Learn how to build a board, master best practices for working with board members, and unlock your board’s most valuable resources and expertise.

How to create the perfect board update

You don’t run your company once per quarter, so why would you run your board that way? Unfortunately, many people fall into a pattern of only updating their board during meetings. But sharing regular updates is a powerful way to cultivate collaboration and keep your company top-of-mind for your board.

Why you should send board updates

Sharing asynchronous updates with your board helps keep your momentum going outside of meetings. The more you keep your board members in the loop, the better able they’ll be to offer relevant and useful support.

This creates a culture of continuous engagement and collaboration, empowering you and your board to work together more effectively at every stage.

Sending asynchronous updates also helps free up valuable time during quarterly board meetings. Since your board will be largely up to date on your recent progress, you can spend less meeting time reporting updates and more time engaging in high-impact conversations.

How often should you send updates?

Here’s the truth: if you’re only providing updates during quarterly board meetings, you’re doing it wrong. You have to run your company and make vital business decisions every day. If you’re only looping your board in four times a year, you’re missing countless opportunities to accelerate your progress.

So what’s the right cadence? Ideally, you should build the habit of sending updates on a regular basis, whether that’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly (we recommend once a month at least, but more often is better).

Whatever you choose, stick to it. Even if you don’t think you have anything major to report. Not every update has to be about major milestones, reporting small team wins is also a great way to demonstrate your progress. Plus, you never know what new business opportunities this can lead to—even something small can resonate with your board and open up valuable connections.

Of course, if something significant does come up, you don’t have to wait until your regularly scheduled time to send an update. Let your board know ASAP if you need their input on a pressing issue.

What to include in an update

The goal with updates is to keep your board up to speed on your current priorities, wins, and challenges. You definitely want to share significant updates (both positive and negative), but your board will benefit from hearing about more incremental progress too.

Some valuable areas to cover:

Your top priorities for the coming week or month

Highlights, lowlights, and learnings from the past week or month

Financial updates such as current runway, burn rate, and revenue

Performance against your core metrics

Upcoming product or feature releases

Updates on new hires and team morale

Branding and marketing initiatives

Relevant industry headlines or noteworthy news about your competitors

Anything else you want feedback or input on

As for how much detail to include, aim for comprehensive, but not overwhelming. Ask yourself what someone would need to know to effectively weigh in on a particular issue. Sometimes, more detail is necessary. Other times, a brief mention is sufficient.

Avoid padding updates with unnecessary information or filler. Convey the important details clearly and concisely, then move on. Effective communication doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

Check out our board update templates

🌟 Pro tip: You don't have to start from scratch when creating updates for your investors. Easily repurpose any board update and remove board-only information to create an investor-friendly version.

How to ask your board for help

To get the most out of your updates, don’t think of them as one-way communications. Engage your board members by asking them for help.

If you’ve been providing routine updates, your board members have the information they need to offer useful feedback and support in real time. Financial runway starting to look short? Activate your board members to introduce you to potential fundraising connections. Need help getting the word out about your business? Ask your board to talk about it among their friends, networks, and on social platforms.

The key is to be specific in your ask. Vague requests make it harder for people to offer help and open the door for feedback you aren’t currently looking for. For example, instead of sending a generic request for customer introductions, provide details such as job titles, company names, or even the names of specific people you’re hoping to connect with.

It’s also okay to send reminders or follow up with board members who haven’t responded to your request. And remember to thank those who do help you—people love to be recognized.

Check out our templates for asking your board for help

How to approach difficult updates

Sharing bad news with your board is just as important as sharing good news. In fact, if you put off sharing bad news only to surface it later, it undermines your credibility as a leader. Even worse, it may be too late to course correct and you risk putting the future of your company in jeopardy.

The most important practice when reporting a difficult update is to be timely and honest. Don’t let problems linger in the hopes that you’ll be able to solve them yourself. Your board expects to hear about challenges, and their job is to support you in times of difficulty.

As for how to frame the conversation, follow these three steps:

1.

Provide context around the situation, especially what your intentions were that led to the current issue. If you fell short of a particularly ambitious goal, explain why you set those goals in the first place.

2.

Present an action plan for how you intend to solve the problem. It’s best to come up with your own solution before asking your board for feedback.

3.

Collect input and feedback from your board. Frame it as an open discussion and take the time to gather data, strategize, and set a clear plan for moving forward.

How to create the perfect board update

You don’t run your company once per quarter, so why would you run your board that way? Unfortunately, many people fall into a pattern of only updating their board during meetings. But sharing regular updates is a powerful way to cultivate collaboration and keep your company top-of-mind for your board.

Why you should send board updates

Sharing asynchronous updates with your board helps keep your momentum going outside of meetings. The more you keep your board members in the loop, the better able they’ll be to offer relevant and useful support.

This creates a culture of continuous engagement and collaboration, empowering you and your board to work together more effectively at every stage.

Sending asynchronous updates also helps free up valuable time during quarterly board meetings. Since your board will be largely up to date on your recent progress, you can spend less meeting time reporting updates and more time engaging in high-impact conversations.

How often should you send updates?

Here’s the truth: if you’re only providing updates during quarterly board meetings, you’re doing it wrong. You have to run your company and make vital business decisions every day. If you’re only looping your board in four times a year, you’re missing countless opportunities to accelerate your progress.

So what’s the right cadence? Ideally, you should build the habit of sending updates on a regular basis, whether that’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly (we recommend once a month at least, but more often is better).

Whatever you choose, stick to it. Even if you don’t think you have anything major to report. Not every update has to be about major milestones, reporting small team wins is also a great way to demonstrate your progress. Plus, you never know what new business opportunities this can lead to—even something small can resonate with your board and open up valuable connections.

Of course, if something significant does come up, you don’t have to wait until your regularly scheduled time to send an update. Let your board know ASAP if you need their input on a pressing issue.

What to include in an update

The goal with updates is to keep your board up to speed on your current priorities, wins, and challenges. You definitely want to share significant updates (both positive and negative), but your board will benefit from hearing about more incremental progress too.

Some valuable areas to cover:

Your top priorities for the coming week or month

Highlights, lowlights, and learnings from the past week or month

Financial updates such as current runway, burn rate, and revenue

Performance against your core metrics

Upcoming product or feature releases

Updates on new hires and team morale

Branding and marketing initiatives

Relevant industry headlines or noteworthy news about your competitors

Anything else you want feedback or input on

As for how much detail to include, aim for comprehensive, but not overwhelming. Ask yourself what someone would need to know to effectively weigh in on a particular issue. Sometimes, more detail is necessary. Other times, a brief mention is sufficient.

Avoid padding updates with unnecessary information or filler. Convey the important details clearly and concisely, then move on. Effective communication doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

Check out our board update templates

🌟 Pro tip: You don't have to start from scratch when creating updates for your investors. Easily repurpose any board update and remove board-only information to create an investor-friendly version.

How to ask your board for help

To get the most out of your updates, don’t think of them as one-way communications. Engage your board members by asking them for help.

If you’ve been providing routine updates, your board members have the information they need to offer useful feedback and support in real time. Financial runway starting to look short? Activate your board members to introduce you to potential fundraising connections. Need help getting the word out about your business? Ask your board to talk about it among their friends, networks, and on social platforms.

The key is to be specific in your ask. Vague requests make it harder for people to offer help and open the door for feedback you aren’t currently looking for. For example, instead of sending a generic request for customer introductions, provide details such as job titles, company names, or even the names of specific people you’re hoping to connect with.

It’s also okay to send reminders or follow up with board members who haven’t responded to your request. And remember to thank those who do help you—people love to be recognized.

Check out our templates for asking your board for help

How to approach difficult updates

Sharing bad news with your board is just as important as sharing good news. In fact, if you put off sharing bad news only to surface it later, it undermines your credibility as a leader. Even worse, it may be too late to course correct and you risk putting the future of your company in jeopardy.

The most important practice when reporting a difficult update is to be timely and honest. Don’t let problems linger in the hopes that you’ll be able to solve them yourself. Your board expects to hear about challenges, and their job is to support you in times of difficulty.

As for how to frame the conversation, follow these three steps:

1.

Provide context around the situation, especially what your intentions were that led to the current issue. If you fell short of a particularly ambitious goal, explain why you set those goals in the first place.

2.

Present an action plan for how you intend to solve the problem. It’s best to come up with your own solution before asking your board for feedback.

3.

Collect input and feedback from your board. Frame it as an open discussion and take the time to gather data, strategize, and set a clear plan for moving forward.