Entrepreneurs are more likely to plan for the future than evaluate the past. But how can you fix something when you don't know it's broken? How will you celebrate achievements when you don't realise how significant they are to the big picture? If you do not conduct a review mid way through the year, it's likely you'll begin January with the same troubled systems, processes, and problems.
We find the December period a good one to stop and take stock of where you have been, where you are going and what needs changes are needed to reflect you achieving your goals.
We have chosen 5 areas of your business that we think you should take a look at before the New Year begins.
1. Clean up your accounting
Make sure your books are in order. Review any outstanding invoices and ensure that you are in good standing with your creditors. Review your performance, make sure you have reviewed your balance sheet and profit and loss statements. Compare your profit and loss to last year.
Are there any red flags in any of your accounting or are you on track? Make sure you contact your accountant straight away if you are concerned about anything that you have identified.
2. Review Performance
Once you have cleaned up your accounting and you have reviewed your reports you need to review your performance. Are you on track with how you thought you would be? Make sure you have a budget in place and consider re forecasting so that you can update your expenditure and income against your target. At this point it may make sense to reset your goals and targets for the second half of the year.
3. Review External Relationships
Consider all of your external relationships and critically assess their value. Look at suppliers, clients and service providers. Are these relationships working well? Do you need to review the terms in which you are currently operating with these people? Are there any issues regarding these relationships? Ensure you are doing things to foster good relationships, and Christmas time is an opportunity to reach out and further develop that relationship. Consider sending out Christmas cards or small gifts to valuable relationships in your business.
4. Review Employees
Review your current staffing requirements against your current arrangements. The end of year is also a good time to conduct performance reviews Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) with your staff. You need to make sure that what they are striving to achieve in their roles is in line with what you are trying to achieve as a business. If you have moved the goal posts for the business then you need to make changes to the employees performance goals for the New Year. Now is a good time to do this so that you can give them plenty of notice.
5. Review Yourself
This is often a hard one, but nothing is going to change in your business unless you do. Now is a good time for some self reflection on your own performance and what you want to achieve in and out of your business.
If you are questioning anything that puzzles you, consider linking with a mentor (Strategic Advisor) that can guide you through your business challenges.