Have you ever started that project after you borrowed some money from a friend, family member, or investor you met on BP only to have them hover over you and holding your note over your head if your project isn't going perfectly? Or do you worry that you aren't delivering for your investor? Do you feel guilty that you have their money and you can't give it back as soon as you thought you could?
Well we use a lot of investor money and we have a particular approach that I find works well on multiple fronts. It's going to sound so dull and right our of office space, but it works. The dreaded status report!
Every week as part of our process, we do a check-in at the beginning of the week to make a list of everything we want to get done, how much money we have, and what we're going to spend.
This is a great way to force you to focus on your business first thing Monday morning. You will create to-do lists, you will call your vendors, you will ask for the things you need to get your project done and one step closer to your dreams. So by creating the 'what's getting done this week' report on Monday morning you set the wheels in motion.
Throughout the week you will do what you do, check over your list, and follow up on the results of what you started Monday. Then on Friday you get to see if you actually got done what you wanted. Mark off those items in the DONE list. Measure how much money you spent, take lots of pictures, or a video if you really want to impress and send out an email to your investors (bcc everyone who will benefit from the info, the builder, the broker, the architect, your partners, the bank) every week like clockwork.
That is the important part. It has to be consistent. Your investors will get used to your emails. The very sight of them will make them happy. They will show them to their friends. They will feel that progress is being made and their money is working. The banks will tell you none of their other clients do this, because they don't. You will get more loans, you will get more investors, you will have better relationships with your team.
Don't be afraid to put bad news in a report either. Bad things happen. Just make sure you put your plan in there on what you're going to do about it. Investors know that stuff happens, they just want to be reassured that you are on top of it.
I can't recommend this practice enough, and it helps you as much or more than your investors because as the end of the week starts coming around you will tell yourself that you don't want to send a crappy report with nothing in it. It will motivate you. Go start this habit now. It has worked well for us.
Things I would recommend including in your report:
- Project Week #
- What we want to get done this week/month/period
- What we actually got done
- Blocking issues
- Money Spent
- Receipts accounted for
- PICTURES of stuff that actually got done
@John Blackman excellent post! It's a shame this wasn't bumped. This method can be tweaked for uses: working with contractors, realtors, and your own job.
@John Blackman This is a great post. I appreciate how the status report is almost a form of advertisement. That is, the investor shows his friend, who in turn may be interested an invest. Communication is key and likely sets you appart from other private equity firms, most of whom defer to a monthly or quarterly update.
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