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Open The Kimono

Your job as a leader in a company is to communicate.  Communication is key.  Especially in startups, when you are moving so quickly.  You need to make certain that your employees, investors, and the outside world is caught up with what is happening with the business.  I recommend a weekly update to your company and your Board.  This doesn’t supplant the need to manage by walking around but it does enable you to scale in your communication effectiveness. 

Here is a sample flow of how a weekly communication should be framed:

<Your Company Name Here>

<Brief summary of the business highlights from the last week>


•    Show week-over-week (WoW) performance in impressions, revenue, market share, or EBITDA.  Make sure to explain why there are variances to plan that are either positive or negative.   Also, make sure to include P&L summaries at the end of each month.  Your entire goal here is to not surprise your investors.
•    Examples: 

  • April WoW gross revenue increased by 10%.
  • MoM, April revenue increased by 24% over March.

P&L LINE     Jan  ’08      Feb  ’08      Mar  ’08      Total
Net Revenue               
Total COGS               
Gross Profit               
OPERATING EXPENSES:               
Other S&M               
General & Administration               
Total Expense               
Net Ordinary Income               

Operating initiative(s):
•    Note:  you want to include several of your agreed upon initiatives in you operating plan.  Examples:  marketing programs, market share programs, etc.

Sales/Business Development:
•    Include a high-level sales pipeline for B2B businesses and/or new deals that greatly impact your demand.  In addition, you will want to flag any account management issues that you have with current accounts. 

•    In technology, you will want to include updates on key features and product updates;  make sure to include projected ship dates versus actual ship dates

Spend no more than 30 minutes compiling your weekly update.  You will also want to cater your updates differently between the Board and your company.  You will be surprised how happy everyone is that you’ve been transparent about what is happening with your business.


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