You might have mixed feelings about how things went as the year comes to a close. It could be time for a party, or a wee cry in the corner.
Regardless of how the year went, it is a fantastic opportunity to take stock and improve for next year.
As we head towards the last day of December, it is not uncommon to get into a reflective mindset and consider your year in review. Often, we find ourselves thinking about the highs and lows, the successes and challenges on a personal level. Then we set those lofty New Year’s resolutions to motivate and inspire us for the year ahead.
If you are a small business owner, this is a habit you should get into for your business too. December is a great time to take a step back and get perspective on how the year turned out. Was it as successful as you had hoped? Were there any unexpected surprises, wins or challenges that stand out?
Whether it was a year in which your business saw growth and opportunities or faced unexpected obstacles, everything that happened can be leveraged to improve, learn and grow.
Here are some key things to consider when you look at your year in review.
The Year In Review…
The great thing about running a small business with a compact team is that it is easy for you to gather together to have a review. Even if that is via Skype or Zoom.
While financial and budget reviews should be done by you as the business owner, it is a great idea to sit down as a team and talk about what worked and what didn’t. Employee feedback is invaluable for you to assess the processes and systems currently in use.
Look at your wins and what influenced them. Talk about how you can get more or bigger wins, and strategise to create further success in the coming months. Don’t forget to pat yourselves on the back for a job well done! Nothing is more motivating for your employees than to feel valued and included.
Learn From Challenges
Once you have covered the positives, take a look at the struggles and low points of the last year. Did a marketing drive or product launch bomb? Maybe you failed to gain new customers or maintain old ones. Whatever the problem, turn it from a negative into a positive by brainstorming ways to avoid it from occurring again in future.
Review Your Processes
Once you and your team have your list of successes and challenges covered, you have the information you need to change the way you do things. There may be ways you can ease the workload for you and your team so everyone can focus on strategy, growth and customer service.
Perhaps you need to look into apps or software that can streamline processes. There are a lot of tasks that you can automate which removes a lot of the chance for human error and saves you time. Also, consider outsourcing day to day tasks in order to hone focus where it counts.
Scan The Data
Financial reviews are a given and ideally should be done quarterly to ensure your business is on track. You also need to review a range of other metrics such sales figures, customer engagement, website traffic and conversions, customer retention and loyalty and even employee performance and retention.
All this data helps to shape your business plan for the next year. Understand where you need to direct your time and energy, and helps you plan accordingly.
Consider Your Time
Speaking of time, you need to consider how you are spending it in your business. Time is one of your most precious resources as there is only a finite amount in each day. So, you need to make sure that you and your team members are spending it wisely.
Delve into how time is used in your business each day, week and month. It is being maximised? Is everyone working in their areas of genius? Meaning, is everyone utilising their skills to the advantage of your business? Us kiwis have quite a DIY mentality – “I can do that, I don’t need to pay someone else to do it for me.”
Yes, you can do it and probably do it well. But should you do it?
Focusing on the things that you do best allows you to maximise the growth potential of your business. Delegate the tasks to your team that play to their skills. If you don’t have anyone that you can delegate certain tasks to, then consider outsourcing them.
Here at Admin Army, we are great at doing those jobs that you don’t have the time or energy to do – bookkeeping, administration, online systems and processes, and a whole list of other things. So, if you want to position your business for success in the new year, get in touch today to see how we can help you do it!