As the end of the year approaches, it's time for startups to start thinking about their strategy and goals for the upcoming year. This is where board meetings become crucial, as they set the tone and direction for the company moving forward. In order to ensure a successful and productive year ahead, we've put together a checklist of the top five things that founders should consider doing.
- Reflect on the past year - Take some time to review what your company has accomplished over the past year. What went well? What could have been done better? This post-mortem should involve input from the entire team and be presented at an all-hands meeting with both the board and the company. It's a great opportunity to celebrate successes and learn from mistakes.
- Evaluate your team - Consider conducting annual reviews using methods such as peer reviews, 360 degree evaluations, or management reviews. These can help identify top performers, address any under-performers, and ensure a fair compensation structure within the organization.
- Implement OKRs - The OKR (Objective and Key Result) model is a proven management technique that sets three measurable goals for the year. These goals are then broken down into smaller objectives for each manager, creating alignment throughout the company. This approach was pioneered by Andy Grove at Intel and has been successfully used by companies like Google.
- Identify top concerns - It's important for board members, founders, and the management team to be on the same page regarding the top challenges facing the business. By openly discussing and prioritizing these concerns, everyone can work towards a common goal and focus their efforts on addressing the most pressing issues.
- Create a financial plan - A solid financial plan is essential for any startup. This should include a headcount plan, sales projections (if applicable), and a forecast for when the company will run out of cash and need to raise funds. It's also important to consider an employee stock option pool plan to ensure the company has enough equity to attract and retain top talent.
The end of the year is an ideal time for startups to reflect, evaluate, and communicate. By following these steps, you can set your company up for success in the new year.