Why you need a monthly metrics dashboard + update for your self + your investors (template)
For the last few years I've been investing and advising SAAS companies in the commerce landscape.
One thing I’m noticing is that founders suck at consistent, organized monthly updates.
I’m guilty as well, so don’t worry.
But I HIGHLY recommend changing that ASAP.
After years of crappy, BS email updates, I changed it all up.
I adopted a format based off Buffer’s. I turned it into a shared google doc that my Board members have access to - whenever they want.
It hits on the key metrics form the business that we all care about, and helps draw the line consistently so everyone can quickly and accurately get a sense of what is happening in the business.
You gotta remember - you're in the day to day. Advisors, investors, even teammates are not. So making it easy to digest at a glance performance over the last few months is key to keeping folks engaged who are able to help.
Yes, this can be scary. It puts pressure on consistent impact EVERY DAY for the team and founder. This is a good thing. You absolutely can do something TODAY that moves the needle.
It sucks when I share out the update and MoM growth looks low, or churn looks high, or whatever your demon is. But its actually easier to spot challenges, and easier to communicate effectively internally and at the investor level when it’s all out on the table.
So with the shared google sheet, my investor email becomes super simple. I send an email with a few bullets on what happened that month, MoM growth rate, net MRR gain and link out to the shared dashboard.
That email may also include some other softer updates around platform usage, fun deals we closed, or partnership news.
And possibly 1 single ask.
Here’s the rough format of my shared doc, which I’ve dubbed the "board dashboard".
On the left I have the highest level metrics that matter for your SAAS.
And then expanding out, month by month numbers for each, with some light graphs to help tell the story:
And as the founder, adding a consistent format to this process has actually taken the stress and time out of my monthly update, both internally for the company, as well as externally for investors.
It’s also pretty damn cool to see how far we’ve come since it’s all in one spot - another benefit of this - let's you zoom out quickly to see how product or GTM investments are panning out every few months.
Then if you layer in a direct sales team, it’s worth running a similar playbook. When we added sales at privy, we added a second tab to the shared doc, with just sales specific KPIs.
It looks like this:
And also includes some light charting to more easily, at a glance, tell the story.
Lastly, here’s an example of one of my investor update emails, that links out:
Then, once my update to investors is done, I change gears and focus on a more simplified version I share with the management team, and then a recorded async video version I share out to the entire company, and post in the wiki. That looks something like this:
Ok cool. So what are you waiting for. The earlier you get in this habit, the more it will simplify your communication about company progress or challenges, and the more it will keep you as the founder focused on what you should be spending time on within the business.
Now - on the receiving end of these as an investor - I can confidently say the companies that send these updates monthly, perform better, and get better input from advisors or anyone around the table. The ones that send an update once a year - you just kinda... lose confidence in them.