How to review your business

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Another year has come and almost gone! Can you believe it? I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this fact. As I sit down and start thinking about the past year, I am reminded of how important it is to sit and reflect on everything, especially when it comes to business. 

Do you sit down and review your year, either formally or informally? When you work from home or own your own business, it is helpful to take some time to analyze things. In other words, take a step back and look at the big picture. This will help you understand what is working and what might not be. 

There are some key questions I like to ask myself to help me learn, grow, improve, and be more profitable in my business. Not sure how to review your business? Here are some questions to help you get started.

  1. What is the biggest lesson you learned in the past year?
  2. What worked well for you financially? 
  3. What area of your business made you happiest and filled your cup?
  4. What is not serving you or your business well?
  5. Are there things you want to outsource this coming year, or just stop doing altogether?
  6. What are some things you want to learn or expand in the coming year?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions!

 

What is the biggest lesson you learned this past year?

Life, and business, are all about learning and growing. Mistakes happen. Things may not have turned out quite like you expected on certain projects or jobs. Or, perhaps you even over-extended yourself and promised things you could not deliver. All of these are learning opportunities.

What makes you a better person, and business owner, is looking at those times and extracting the lessons out of them. THAT is how you improve. THAT is how you make better adjustments for next time.

 

What worked well for you financially? 

Numbers do not lie. It is one of the greatest lessons I have learned as a business owner. I recommend looking back at your numbers and figuring out what part of your business gave you the biggest ROI this year. What was most profitable? Take a moment to recognize your successes, and celebrate those wins!

Once you can see this clearly,  you will have a better idea of what areas to focus on more, or what areas of your business you should look at doing more of in the coming year. And, if tracking your numbers and sales is not a strong suit of yours, that is an area I highly recommend getting outside help on (see #5) or learning (see #6)!

What area of your business made you the happiest and filled your cup?

While numbers and profitability are important for building and running a successful business, happiness is VERY important too. Do not discount the projects and partnerships that bring you joy. For instance, maybe you do a yearly fundraiser that costs you and your team a lot of time and money. But it truly brings you joy (and probably great marketing). Keep doing it if it makes sense in the big picture of your business and life!

Happiness and passion are huge contributors to drive and motivation. It is also what makes those hard times worth it, so remember that while numbers talk, happiness helps you get out of bed in the morning and do it all again.

 

What is not serving you or your business well?

This can often be a hard question, and sometimes a harder pill to swallow. Occasionally we have dreams or ideas that did not come to fruition. Perhaps it was a project that did not quite turn out how we had hoped. Maybe it was an investment that did not return what you had hoped for.

This is an even harder question to explore when it is personnel. Did you hire someone who is not quite pulling their weight? Do you have a client who is draining time, energy, and resources? Or do you have a business partnership that is no longer enjoyable? Take a long hard look at the things, and people, in your business that may not be serving you well, and ask yourself if you want to carry this into the coming year. It may be a time to break some ties after all.

 

Are there things you want to outsource or stop doing altogether?

Once you have celebrated the good and analyzed the not-so-good parts of your business, you can start looking at how to make changes in the coming year to serve you better. This is the exciting part, because yes, change can be exciting!

Some things in your business may need to fall to the wayside if they are not serving you financially or emotionally. Other tasks or projects may be pertinent to your business, but you find that you simply do not want, or like, to do them. This is an opportunity for you to evaluate if it is time to outsource tasks that may be sucking time and energy from you. Maybe it is time YOU need a Virtual Assistant!

If you want to read more about outsourcing (and time-saving tips), our article on Time Saving Tools for Freelancers may provide additional resources and insight to help. 

 

What are some things you want to learn or expand in the coming year?

Any successful business, and business owner, knows that you continually have to be ready to learn and grow. In today’s society, things are always changing. Technology is constantly developing and new tools are being launched (hello AI). It is important to look at your business, and your priorities, and focus on what will best serve you, and your clients. Be open to change. Explore opportunities to be better and learn new things!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Each of you and your businesses are individual and unique. I hope that the questions above will help you brainstorm and explore the questions as they apply to you independently. Depending on your situation, there are other questions you may also want to explore as you look back and review your year.

The important thing is to set some time aside to review your year, your numbers, and your wins and losses so that you have a clearer picture of where you want to go this coming year. I suggest that you grab a notepad and pen and a cup of coffee (or your favorite thinking beverage). Write down each question and jot down some answers. See where it takes you.

If you want help reviewing your business, or if you are interested in virtual assistant services this coming year, we invite you to set up a consultation appointment with us. We can help discuss your unique situation, and see if we would be a good fit!

 

Here is to a happier, healthier, and more profitable year ahead!