You’ve heard me harp on this subject before (here and here) but right now, it’s very near and dear to my heart as I prepare for the Bramble Berry Monthly Management Meeting – or what I like to call the “Did you do what you said you were going to do?’ meeting.
Since 2004, our Management team has met monthly to discuss the following:
Budget – How on target are we? Is there any corrective action we need to take?
Critcal Numbers – This varies for each member of the team. My critical numbers revolve around web traffic numbers (visitors, how long they stay on the site, what browser they are using). Erik (Otion store manager) has numbers around foot traffic and conversion rate for the retail store. Norm, the COO for Bramble Berry tracks labor per order and other logistics numbers. We review the numbers and discuss any corrective action that needs to be taken or celebrate good numbers.
Management Reports – What happened in the last month? Where are you stuck? This is where we give a brief update for each project we are working on.
Additional Issues – If there are any major issues (holiday staffing, acquisitions, warehouse reorginization discussions), this is when we do it rather than holding up individual reports.
Accountability – This takes place at the end of the meeting. We review our Quarterly Goals and discuss progress on them and we review our Monthly Goals. We have three answers we can give: Done, Progress Made or No Progress Made. An ‘NPM’ is super bad and we try really hard not to ever have these.
If you’re a small business, this is a great excercise to do with an Accountability Partner. Having another person – a real live living breathing smart adult – is an entirely extra level of accountability to just yourself. Just as you do better on a workout program when you have a buddy to do it with, having schedule monthly review sessions is integrals so you can see where you’ve been – and what steps you need to take to get where you want to.
Think of it like updating your map every single month. I consider our Monthly Accountabilty Meetings to be one of the integral reasons that Bramble Berry has successfully grown from a seat-of the-pants-start-up to an established, flourishing company.
PS – That adorable knitting needle mold can be found here.
Thanks Anne-Marie. This was just the post I needed. As my company is growing I find myself searching for information on managing it.
I couldn't have said it better than Sweetpapaya: it's easy to let things slide when it's only you (or you and the kids…LOL!), so thanks for the reminder and the enthusiasm, A-M!
Great post. It's easy to NOT do these things when you are reporting only to yourself. Every day, I either have the BEST or the WORST employee and only have myself to congratulate or scold… My to-do list is lloonnnggg but am getting through it! Love your optimism!