5 Steps For Your Year-End Small Business Review
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, I know you’re no stranger to getting tasks done on deadline day and flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to your business. As the time nears to narrow (or sometimes redirect) our focus, a yearly review can help to give your business a more seamless workflow, allowing you to prioritize how you’re getting things done as well as project completion itself.
Entrepreneurs are so focused on their path to success that they always are planning for the future, taking little time to assess the results of their past efforts.
The best way to continue to grow your business and be successful is to make time to see how much the shortcomings truly set you back, or how the successes you barely acknowledged actually made all the difference in the big picture.
As this year comes to a close, establish what did and didn’t work for you and your business, so you can take more intentional steps forward to support change and growth in 2021.
Did you have a business plan for 2020 where you outlined your goals, processes and strategies for the year? If you did, keep it in mind while planning for next year, finding new questions to ask and bars to set.
If you didn’t, that’s okay, too!
Here is our 5 step process for reviewing your 2020. Cater it to your business so you can make 2021 the best one yet!
Step 1: Review with intention
Reflecting on a whole year can be a daunting task, so before you start overwhelming yourself with every little detail, think about what you want to gain from this annual review. We all know how much energy, planning and heart went into your business, but try your best to look at this year with an objective eye. You want to be able to recognize your wins but also acknowledge where changes need to be made. Start the process of your review with the intent to come out on the other side with actionable insights you can use to propel your business forward.
Step 2: How do you want to measure your growth?
When reviewing every project, task, or even client interactions that occurred over the year, you need to be asking the right questions. Here are some general questions, but be sure to be as specific as possible with your business:
🌟 What was our biggest accomplishment this year?
🌟 What was our biggest disappointment this year?
🌟 How did we handle roadblocks?
🌟 What strategies provided maximum growth?
🌟 Did we use our resources wisely?
🌟 What can we learn from the mistakes we made along the way?
🌟 Did anything unexpected happen? How can we make a better plan for this?
Another crucial part of asking yourself the right questions is considering what other ways you can measure success. Of course, every business wants more revenue, but what about a growing email list? More podcast listeners? More engagement on your platform?
When crafting your questions, consider each and every part of your business, not just general growth.
Step 3: Schedule your review
Just like anything that is going to be worthwhile, an annual business review isn’t going to get done in your weekly Monday meeting. Remember, the point of this is to go in-depth. You, your employees, your clients, and your business deserve the time it takes to do this review well.
The time you allot for this depends on your business’ needs, but try scheduling time twice a week if you want to do the review over a month to make sure you are staying on track.
Step 4: Celebrate your wins
Entrepreneurs can get too preoccupied with continuous improvement. As much as we love always getting better, focusing too hard on our shortcomings will leave us feeling discouraged.
Make time to acknowledge your successes this year! Although the point of doing a review is to get better for the next year, give yourself (and your employees) a pat on the back for the contributions that took your business to another level. List them out so that everyone can see the results of their hard work.
This positive energy doesn’t just have to happen once a year! Try implementing this mindset weekly by discussing small wins or exciting weekend plans every week with your team (business or nonbusiness related 😉 ).
Step 5: Your review doesn’t end when the year does
Once you’ve completed your review and curated a new list of goals, strategies and metrics for the new year, don’t forget about them! Keep up with your findings and introduce monthly or quarterly checks on your current goals to keep yourself accountable.
As we all learned with this “unprecedented” year, things can change in a heartbeat. Remain open to adapting by assessing your efforts as time passes and priorities change throughout the year.
Here's to a great 2021!