Today’s million-dollar question: What degree of reporting do you offer your board of directors? What has the outcome been? Even if you don’t have directors or even advisors, you need to accurately track your business and keep everyone focused on results.
Clear board reporting helps keep the company on track and the board confident and aligned with your goals. Each department will need to talk about goals achieved last month, goals not achieved last month and why, and the goals to be achieved this month.
Here’s what you need to report to your board of directors:
Sales/Business Development: Deals closed and terms of each deal, why deals were lost (i.e., did the sale go to a competitor – or was the sale lost because a new decision maker joined the fray).
Customer Service: Number of inquiries responded to for the month, percentage breakdown of customers vs. prospects, average time to resolution on each customer inquiry, percentage of customers who have contacted customer service repeatedly and how often.
Engineering: Technology used, integration issues, expertise needed to employ and improve it; technology’s stability, scalability, and extensibility potential; testing approach, hosting approach, and strengths and weaknesses of vendor.
Marketing: Leads being pursued, and the amount of time it takes a lead to become a prospective customer; customer acquisition, retention, and up-selling strategies; recent and upcoming key marketing activities, such as mailings, conferences, trade shows, and press coverage; upcoming website revisions and high-level details.
Finance: Stock options to be approved for issuance; head count (permanent and temporary) today and projected for quarter; burn rate today and over next three quarters; any current or potential employee issues; balance sheet, P&L, statement of cash flows.
These updates keep everyone focused on results, help foster accountability, and, last but not least, help the CEO and department heads clearly report progress. Additional board-related benefits include increased trust, improved ability to affect board voting, and increased influence overall.
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