The first quarter of 2022 is gone, time flies for sure! I was reflecting on how the year has been so far. It then dawned on me that now is perfect to do a review of my life so far in 2022. It also dawned on me that it is also a perfect time for companies to conduct reviews. As a business or startup, you must know that there is what is called QBR. QBR stands for quarterly business review and as such now is the time for the first QBR of 2022. Let us look at how you can do it for your business.

What Is A QBR?

A quarterly business review (QBR) is an exercise that involves reviewing how your brand is performing and exploring the future trajectory. It is usually more customer-centric than anything else. This means the review process mainly looks at the supply and value chain. What are the customer experiences like? This is one of the core focuses given how it has a bearing on everything else.

What A QBR Covers?

A QBR should cover at least the following 5 areas namely, reviewing product or service uptake, reviewing the financial performance of the brand, reviewing challenges faced, strategic planning for the future, and reviewing areas for product or service enhancement. These 5 areas form the foundation of a solid QBR but can of course be even more. In looking at all these areas everything should be customer-centric. I like Elon Musk’s emphasis that more time must be spent improving the product or service. Doing a QBR is about that and time should not be wasted in valueless meetings or trying to come up with fancy reports.

How To Go About A QBR

Carefully Consider The Number Of QBRs

Just because there are 4 quarters in a year does not mean you should do 4 QBRs. The nature of products or services and customer relationships vary from brand to brand. The number of QBRs you conduct must not be too often and not too rare as well. Consider a supermarket or restaurant as an example; they experience customer inflows regularly, daily. Such scenarios require QBRs to be frequent meaning conducting one every quarter is imperative. Then you have a business such as real estate or vehicle sales. Customer inflows might not be daily and cultivating customer relationships tends to take time. In such scenarios, you might consider doing probably 2 QBRs in a year. These are just some guidelines but they are seldom cast in stone; carefully the circumstances and merits of your context as a brand.

What To Do?

The first thing in conducting a QBR is reviewing the performance of the period under review. I assume that you would have set goals for that period prior. Setting goals would mean you have key performance indicators or areas (KPIs or KPAs). You then assess them against the goals you would have set at the beginning. The next thing will be to identify areas that need attention. This should all culminate in coming up with a strategic plan that will inform work plans for the upcoming or the current period. Essentially this is a repeatable cycle if done well.

How Do You Do It?

A QBR deals with soliciting feedback from customers and those internal to the brand e.g. staff, management, and other relevant stakeholders. This means you will choose from methods such as interviews, surveys, meetings, focus group discussions, and the like. How you build or use those methods will be informed by what you are seeking to do i.e. reviewing. If you have clear goals and KPIs or KPAs, it should be easy to roll out any of these methods. For example, you can invite your customers to participate in online surveys or reviews. They can also participate by filling out physical questionnaires in-store for example. Meetings can be done with individuals, as per department, or company-wide. It is up to your discretion to use cost-effective, easy but effective methods.

It all looks so straightforward but many brands do not regularly do QBRs. QBRs are a feedback mechanism that brands should take advantage of. No brand can grow without soliciting feedback and more importantly, taking relevant action premised on review processes. You do not need a tonne of money or resources to conduct QBRs; start making it a norm for your business or startup from now.