Chris Evans

21st December 2020

How to upgrade your board reports in 2021

As we head towards 2021, board meetings should become less about firefighting existential crises and more about planning a prosperous future. For good reason, there has been a lot of crisis management in 2020, but a new year is the perfect chance to be proactive. Board meetings are the best starting point for driving that change.

For board meetings to be truly effective in 2021, directors must be armed with the answers to the key strategic questions. Otherwise, stakeholders leave the most important meeting of the month with gaps in their knowledge. As the economy recovers from COVID-19 and battles with the economic turbulence caused by a no deal Brexit, there are many important decisions to be made.

The new Plimsoll Board Report service will allow you and your board to make quicker and more informed executive decisions in these uncertain times. For the first time ever, the intelligence, analysis, and monitoring tools you need to answer the key strategic questions are combined in one handy, quarterly document, saving you time and providing you with an independent assessment of your business:

Is sales performance good enough and what next?

For some markets, 2020 has seen almost complete cessation of revenue. Others have never been so busy. 2021 poses unique questions in both scenarios. For the former, how do you get back to growth? For the latter, how do you maintain growth if demand falls as COVID-19 abates?

Growth numbers need context and Plimsoll will help you to answer the following questions so you can develop coherent growth strategies for 2021 and measure your performance as the year evolves:

  • How are you growing against the budgets you set?
  • How do you compare to your 10 closest peers?
  • Who is the fastest growing among your peers?
  • Who has turned investment into growth?

The Plimsoll Board Report will show you how your current growth performance compares, whether you are on course to meet targets, and how much you need to improve to beat some of your key rivals in 2021. Our industry and competitor comparisons provide an additional layer of insight to your board.

How profitable is the business, irrespective of growth?

With furloughing of staff and mothballing of plant and premises, many companies have seen profits increase despite lower sales in 2020. As those schemes are slowly wound down in 2021, the need to focus on the bottom line will become imperative - especially for those trading with the EU. 

Profit margin targets are a key decision for your business as it emerges from 2020. Setting a realistic level of profit for your business in 2021 will be easier after assessing your current performance compared to that of your peers. Plimsoll can provide a clear view of:

  • How does your profit compare to key rivals?
  • Are profit targets being met month on month?
  • Who is the most profitable among your peers?
  • Who is making the most profit from their assets?

The Plimsoll Board Report will show how your profitability compares to others in the market and allow you to find where you could and must improve in 2021.

Are we productive enough or do we need to make cuts?

Furlough schemes will not last forever and as they are wound down, directors have tough decisions to make. If board meetings have allowed you to set realistic targets for growth and profit for the coming year, then the question arises, “How many people do we need?”

Plimsoll can help you to solve the productivity puzzle by looking at your current position and answering the following questions:

  • How does your current productivity compare to your rivals?
  • What are the standards of productivity across your industry?
  • How many people do your profit and growth projections justify?

The Plimsoll Board Report will show if you are getting enough from your resources, what the productivity benchmarks are for your market, and how others are performing in comparison. 

What is the overall financial health of our business?

9 out 10 companies in administration were rated as Danger by Plimsoll up to 2 years prior to their demise. In 2021, early warning of looming issues within your own company’s financial health will provide the opportunity to put fixes in place.

Plimsoll can provide a thorough, 5-year assessment of your own business alongside your key rivals so that your board report will give you the insight you need to decide:

  • How financially stable your business really is
  • How your overall performance compares to your peers
  • Where you could and where you must improve

The Plimsoll Board Report will show how healthy your company is, what areas need to be improved and how you compare to other, key rivals in your markets.

Plimsoll offers a bespoke Board Report that is built around your decision-making needs. This modular service pulls together the key insight you need to answer all the questions above and make better decisions in 2021. The service is tailored to your requirements and we actively encourage customers to share as much of their own data to make the exercise more potent. By receiving this performance tracker on a quarterly basis, you can assess any shifts and changes that need to be made as the year progresses.

If you would like to discuss what can be included in your own Plimsoll Board Report, call us on 01642 626400.