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Why Business Transparency Matters — Especially for Startups

Business transparency is one of the most important values you can have in a startup, and as a leader, it’s up to you to make it part of your culture.

We recently held our York IE quarterly business review, where we reviewed our Q1 revenue, expenses, bookings, and other metrics and measured our progress against annual goals. Throughout the call, we also discussed our differentiated business model and how our investment, advisory services, and data platform offerings will all contribute to the company’s long-term success.

When it comes to these types of meetings, most companies — corporates and startups alike — limit attendance to senior executives. In fact, a lot of companies completely neglect to internally evangelize their vision or business model. Transparency is an afterthought.

But I believe it’s crucial to make sure all your employees know what drives your company’s success. That’s why our meeting was an all-hands — and not only that but an all-hands where we encouraged everyone to speak up and ask questions.

The Benefits of Transparency in Business

First and foremost, business transparency is important because it helps employees value their work. When someone can draw a straight line from the work they do to the success of their company — and then, ideally, to how they’ll be rewarded for that success — they develop a deeper sense of purpose and pride in their job. They’ll be happier and they’ll perform at a higher level, and that’s a win-win for everyone.

It’s especially important for startups to run transparent businesses because everyone is always pitching in wherever they’re needed. At York IE, for example, we have constant collaboration among our investment, services, product, and marketing teams. Your employees need to understand how the whole operation works so your startup can remain as agile and flexible as possible.

Finally, business transparency is good for professional development. We have employees from a wide variety of backgrounds: development, product management, finance, operations, public relations, sales, journalism, and a whole lot more. I want to help them all become strong businesspeople — a trait that will benefit them wherever their careers may lead.

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