Tom Potter founded Eagle Boys Pizza in 1987, and sold the business in 2007 to a private equity firm when revenue was about $100 million. He says finding a good board can do wonders for your business.
“I don’t think that you can under-estimate the value of a board. Bringing in a board of directors very early is hugely critical. If I had had my time over, I would have brought inside probably the first two years of the business. It took me 10 years to do it. People say, ‘Oh, I can’t afford it’ and my response is, ‘You can’t afford not to, even if you just have a quarterly meeting of people who are there for no other reason than to help you. “
“Surrounding yourself with people who’ve been there and done it… they’ve got a bit of grey power and they’re happy to advise you. So I think that that’s critical. Not just for advice but also for discipline.”
“I mean I was 100% owner of this company for 20 years and I don’t think we ever went to a vote on the board, based on the fact that a lot of the times I’d present up to the board an idea. They’d tell me I was off my head, go away and think about it and re-present the upsides and the downsides.”
“By the time the next board meeting came around I’d either turn up and say, ‘You were dead right’ or I would re-present, giving a lot more thought and realising that there was either more opportunity or more risk involved. So it was good.”
“I think that that is a great tip if you can surround yourself with two or three advisers and have structured meetings every month or every two or three months.”
Read more about Tom Potter and Eagle Boys.