Most entrepreneurs, myself included, love to look ahead and think about all the exciting opportunities the new year brings, but before we get ourselves too far ahead it’s essential to first evaluate the past year. Doing a year-end business review gives you the opportunity to explore what’s not working, celebrate successes and give you a clear picture of where you are at so you can map out where you want to go. Without doing a year-end review you’ll likely start the year off with the same problems, ineffective systems and issues you struggled with last year and slow your growth. And if you had a great year, it’s still important to do a year-end review so you can hone in on what created your success so you can continue growing. Long story short, it’s time to create a powerful plan to help you grow in the new year.
Doing a year-end review isn’t easy. While you get to celebrate your success you also have to take a good hard look at your mistakes or failures. Digging into the realities of our business can bring up emotions, so commit to detaching emotionally during this process. Approach your year-end review from a place of curiosity, it’s all about looking for areas of improvement. This will allow you to get the most out of this process and really uncover the answers you need to succeed in the new year.
There are a lot of questions to answer in a year-end review and it can get overwhelming so be sure to write it all down. We have a FREE Year-End Business Review Workbook for you to download that will help guide your process. And here’s a few examples of valuable questions to ask in you prefer a more streamlined approach:
- What were my wins & highlights?
- How did these successes impact my growth?
- What did I learn this year and how did those lessons support my growth?
- What were my biggest disappointments or failures?
- Did I implement a strategy to pivot or address these disappointments?
- Did I have any unexpected expenditures and how can I plan better next year?
A year-end review is a lengthy process and shouldn’t be completed in one session. You will need to schedule a few meetings to dive into all these questions and analysis. I’d recommend scheduling a few hours each day during a particular week to go through this process.
It’s easy to get hung up on all the things that didn’t work, so be sure to really highlight your wins and uncover what led to them. The more you can leverage your systems, processes, decisions that are leading to success the better off your business will be and you will feel about your journey as an entrepreneur.
The only way you will know if your business is successful is by identifying key metrics, tracking them and reviewing them regularly. Obviously financial performance is key, but also consider tracking and reviewing your email list, Google Analytics, conversion rate, retention rate, customer growth, marketing tactics and content metrics as well. You can use our FREE Year-End Business Review Guide or create simple spreadsheets to track your data.
Review & Set Goals
Take some time to reflect on the success of this goals. Identify which goals are worth keeping and pursuing next year and which need to be let go. Eliminating a goal isn’t a sign of failure, in fact letting go of goals that don’t serve your business will open up energy to focus on what will really drive you forward.
And of course set some achievable goals for the new year.
Once you’ve completed your review and planning, be sure to schedule regular check-ins monthly and quarterly. You don’t need to go through as in-depth of a process as your year-end review, but be sure to check-in on the essentials: finances, sales, marketing, employees and growth.
Don’t forget to download our FREE Year-End Business Review Guide!