As the end of the year approaches many small business owners start creating their goals and strategic plans for the next year without doing one very important step – a year end review. A year end review is simply a look back at how your business performed over the past 12 months. It doesn’t hurt to go back further if you have that data available. The more information you have the better you can plan for the coming year.
What data or information should I review?
At a minimum, you should review what I call the “big 3” – revenue, expense and profit. You could look at your pricing, sales conversion rates, marketing return on investment and more.
A year end review can help guide your business decisions, strategic plans and resource allocation for the next year. However, many businesses jump into the planning process without considering their current results. It’s a lot easier to hit 6 or 7 figures when you know what’s happening with your “big 3”. The year end review is not only about financial results. It should include an evaluation of all business areas – team, systems, products and/or services, and industry/marketing trends.
Don’t set yourself up by spending hours and hours planning for the next year, without doing a thorough year end review.
Your year end review may also include a client/customer survey especially if you’re planning to launch a new product or service in the new year. You could use the survey to get feedback, build excitement and get your clients/customers involved in the launch. For example, maybe you ask them to help you name the product or service, choose a color or decide on a design. It’s fun for them and valuable market research for you.
Whether you’ve completed your strategic plan and goals for the next year or not, doing a year end review can be very insightful and eye-opening. Don’t guess about what is and isn’t working let the data and results speak for itself.
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