year end review in business

The benefits of doing a year end review for your business

Doing a year-end review for your business can help you capture key insights and learnings that you might otherwise miss.

While it’s tempting to start dreaming about all you want to accomplish in the next year, first take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come this year.

You might wonder: Why bother looking back?

But only by knowing where you are and acknowledging how far you’ve come, can you clearly see where you want to go.

Why do a year-end review for your business?

A year end review for your business is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • You’ll get insight into what worked and what didn’t
  • You’ll make decisions more clearly going forward
  • You’ll see how far you’ve come in the last 365 days
  • You’ll get closure and tie up any loose ends in the past year

It’s important to conduct your year end review before you set your goals for the next year, so that you can move forward with confidence and clarity.

The purpose of this review isn’t to go over everything you did in detail, but take a high level review of your year and understand your key learnings and results, so you can make adjustments for next year.

Here’s how to do your year-end business review:

Calendar a time and spot for your year-end review. (I recommend giving yourself 1-2 hours.)

Grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, find a quiet spot, and sit down with a notebook and a pen.

Ask yourself the following questions, take time to consider your answers, and journal them.

1.What was the state of my business when this year started?

Consider where you were in January of this year, what your goals were, what your challenges were, what your services and programs looked like, how you served your clients, and how you felt about your business.

2. What is the state of my business today?

Describe where you’re at today and how your business has evolved since January of this year. How have your goals evolved? What offerings are you serving now? How do you feel about your business?

3. What were my biggest learnings in my business this year?

What aha moments occurred this year? What realizations did you have, either about yourself as a business owner or about your business? What were your biggest learnings?

4. What were the key pivots that I made in my business this year, and what were the results of those pivots?

We all usually end up pivoting and changing direction in our business over the course of the year, whether it’s a program you decided to run or one you decided to cancel. Consider what changes you made this year — and the results of those changes.

5. What business activities did I most enjoying this year?

It’s so beneficial to understand what things we love doing in our business, so that we can create the conditions to do more of these things. What was fun for you this year? What do you want to do again?

6. What were my biggest highlights and accomplishments in my business this year?

You don’t have to win an award to accomplish something. An accomplishment can be learning something, trying something new, doing something for the first time, etc. List all the accomplishments you can think of.

7. What things did I try, but didn’t work out the way I wanted.

Trying new things is part of being a successful business owner. Celebrate the trials whether or not you got the results you wanted. What have you tried this year? What were the results? What learnings did you gain?

8. Where did I stretch myself this year in my business?

Getting out of your comfort zone is key to your own growth and that of your business. Pinpoint those moments where you stretched yourself. These are moments that required courage or taking a leap, or maybe even having blind faith.

9. How do I feel about the state of my business now?

The way you feel about your business says a lot. Are you feeling energized by your business or are you feeling drained? Are you feeling excited about your new direction or are you feeling afraid? What are these feelings telling you?

10. What do I need to let go of this year in order to move into the new year with a fresh slate?

It’s human nature to hold onto the things that didn’t go as planned, or the things you feel like you failed at. But when you’re willing to see the learnings, you can let go of the experiences, and move into a new year with a feeling of lightness and positivity about your business.

Celebrate your year-end review for your business

After you’ve journaled your answers to the above questions, give yourself some time and space to process what you’ve learned.

Take time to celebrate your progress! Keep your notes so that you can reflect on your growth again one year from today.

Now, get ready to start focusing on what you want to see in your life and business next year.