If you’ve worked in corporate America, there’s a good chance that your current role as a freelancer or small business owner was inspired by the monthly review. I learned how important it is to have a regular cadence for reviewing progress on individual projects and the overall health of your team.
But what about freelancers and small agencies? Shouldn't we be more agile than those giants? In truth, when it comes to running an effective end-of-month review, bigger isn't always better—especially if you want to maximize efficiency while keeping clients happy.
Note that the reason you’re reading this post is because your end-of-month review probably isn’t as valuable as it could be. If you’re like most freelancers or small agencies, you learned this skill from a corporate job or an old-school mentor who used the monthly review to inform investors of their progress.
The end-of-month review is one of the best ways to keep your business running smoothly. It's a great way to keep clients informed about their accounts, and it keeps you on track for growing profits and profitability.
It's also an excellent way to learn from what worked in the previous month, so that you can apply lessons learned in future months.
But the end-of-month review isn’t just for investors anymore.
It’s also a great idea for freelancers and small agencies. You can easily adapt it to your own needs.
Startups and small businesses often struggle with getting the most out of their reporting systems. It’s easy to see how this kind of review will help them keep track of their progress and make sure they get it right the first time.
Small businesses and startups are more agile than ever before, which means they need to stay informed with your current projects and any new opportunities that might arise.
Small businesses and startups are more agile than ever before, which means they need to stay informed with your current projects and any new opportunities that might arise. While these companies might not be large enough to have the resources of larger organizations, they still need information on a regular basis.
In order to meet this need, you'll want to make sure that you're providing an end-of-month review every month. This type of report will help answer all of the questions you've been asked throughout the past month as well as provide guidance for how things should go in future months.
Keep your clients happy with a meaningful monthly review.
One of the most important parts of keeping clients happy is having a monthly review process in place. The end-of-month review is an essential business practice that helps you stay organized and keep your client informed, engaged, and updated.
So how can you ensure a successful monthly review? Here are some tips:
- Include a summary of recent events and achievements in your company or project so far this month, as well as any new developments or challenges faced by both parties (you and your client).
- Organize all information related to your project into one place — whether it’s an email from an associate or another document — so it’s easily accessible for future reference.
- Make sure that the format of your monthly reviews doesn't get stale; try experimenting with different ways of presenting them (for example, switching between bullet points versus paragraphs; using visuals for keywords rather than writing those words out).
Your clients expect results, so keep them informed with an effective end-of-month review.
- Provide your clients with a summary of your work. Let them know where you're at, what you've accomplished and the next steps you'll take to move forward. For example, if your client is waiting for the release of their book or album, let them know how far along it is in the production process.
- Provide your clients with a summary of your finances. Let them know how much money has been spent on marketing efforts so far, and whether that's working out as planned—or if more needs to be done.
- Provide your clients with a summary of results achieved over this period of time (e.g., "We've completed 25% more than last month."). From here, it can be helpful to include some information about future plans: "Based on these results we expect [x] by end-of-year."
Don’t get caught up in the traditional end-of-month review! Use your time wisely and create an effective report that keeps your clients informed.