Top 10 tips to Finding Non Executive Directors & Smart Money

Now that we’re clear on what a non-executive director and smart money are how about we delve into how to find and attract them to work with you? Here are some top tips I’ve put together to help:

1. Don’t be scared to ask!
It might sound daunting but you have to remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. What’s the worst that can happen? Rejection is expected, but you just have to dust yourself off and move onto the next one.

2. LinkedIn
Contacting those via InMail actually work really well, it’s also a great platform to compare experiences and areas where you might need more attention. Just remember that you may only get one response for every twenty messages sent.

3. Research  
Find people who will benefit from being a non-executive, that way they get just as much out of the deal as you do. They could be with other businesses etc but are philanthropic and more than willing to contribute. Don’t be worried if you have to teach them what to do, everyone has to learn some way or another.

4. Don’t be put off by those who have never been approached  
A lot of people are too scared to ask, and a lot of senior people don’t know what a non-exec actually does. Be prepared to teach them.

5. Be concise  
Know and communicate exactly what you want from them and ask if they can help you. They are busy people usually and respect direct and to the point communication.

6. Don’t appear desperate  
Don’t just take them on because of who they are. Make sure you can work with them and believe in the business. Remember their job is to serve the company and not you!

7. Ask someone in the industry
This doesn’t necessarily mean ask your competitor for advice, but asking someone who is in the same industry and maybe does what you do just slightly different, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People like to hedge their bets and at least you know they know their stuff. Just make sure you are protected by a strong non-disclosure.

8. Read industry papers  
Subscribe to industry newsletters and papers, this way you can find the names mentioned continuously and read the stories about them. Ask what this person can bring to your business and if they are of value if so find out how you can get in contact with them (probably LinkedIn).

9. Networking  
Join networking clubs that attract that level of people and businesses. This can easily become a distraction, so make sure they are quality events where you are getting a good return on your investment and time.

10. Don’t ask family
Remember a non-executive director is on the board and their job is to help you, but also hold you accountable. Make sure you don’t pick a friend or family member. If you do, be ready to lose them if something goes wrong.

If you take anything away from reading this article let it be this – have the confidence to believe that having a non-executive work with you will benefit them just as much as it will benefit you.

Believe that your business is going to soar and others will follow.

Get in touch for more information on how to approach non-executive directors.

Brad Channer,
Director, Acceler8me.