When scheduling your founder group’s recurring meetings, there are several factors your group will want to consider: location, time, and frequency. These factors will help determine how your group meetings will go. Just remember, these are just some guidelines…meeting on some level is better than not meeting at all.
We really recommend choosing a location where you can meet for a couple hours at least. If one of your group members has an office with a conference room or a coworking space…this type of environment would be ideal. This office context will help keep your group focused and intentional, as these groups sometimes have a tendency to become social circles. We definitely recommend building personal relationships in the group…but we suggest it might be a good idea to keep the recurring formal group meetings separate from your social get-togethers.
If no one has an office available, we probably recommend a coffee shop over a restaurant. Food is usually a bit too distracting, and since these meetings are usually 2 hours or more, it’s not always appropriate to overstay your welcome.
Alternatively, even if none of your group’s members are part of a coworking space, it’s pretty typical for them to rent out conference rooms by the hour. This might be a good option as putting some skin in the game for your group meetings may encourage your group to take these meetings a bit more seriously.
It might be tempting to schedule these meetings outside of work hours or on weekends, but we suggest making these meetings integral within your normal work schedule. It’s easy to treat these peer group meetings as ‘extra-curricular’ entrepreneurial activites, so by putting them in the middle of your workday, you’re giving these meetings their due priority in your professional life. We might be biased, but we believe these founder accountability groups can really help you with some important breakthroughs for you and your company if you give them their due attention.
Hence, we recommend scheduling your recurring founder group meetings on a weekday, probably towards the beginning of the day, when your mind if fresh and sharp…versus the end when you’re groggy and almost checked out.
When trying to decide how often your founder group should meet, we think the biggest factor is the company stage of your group members.
From what we’ve seen, when a group is comprised of founders in their early stage, perhaps less than 1 year old, it’s typically better to meet more frequently. At this stage, there’s just a lot of things happening in the life of the company and the founder that you’ll need the encouragement, advice, and support from fellow founders more often. So for early-stage founder groups, we recommend setting a recurring group meeting every week or every other week. Since you’re having these meetings more frequently, you can consider having shorter meetings.
When the group’s companies grow and become more mature, aligning founder schedules and finding time will become much more challenging. At this stage, we recommend scheduling recurring meetings once a month to preserve consistency.