Doing a year-end review for your business can help you capture key insights and learnings that you might not otherwise.
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.
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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 2021, 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.
Here’s how to do your year-end business review:
Calendar a time and spot for your year-end review. 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 you were struggling with in your business, what your services and programs looked like, how you served your clients, how you felt about your business.
2. Where is the state of my business today?
Describe where you’re at today and how your business has evolved since January of this year.
3. What were my biggest learnings in my business this year?
What aha moments did you have? What realizations did you have, either about yourself as a business owner or about your business?
4. What were the key pivots that I made in my business this year, and what were the results of those pivots?
Pivots usually follow key learnings, so consider what changes you made as a result of what happened in question 3.
5. What business activities did I most enjoying doing 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?
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 highlights you can think of.
7. What things did I try, but didn’t work out the way I wanted. Knowing that, what would I choose to do differently in the future?
You might choose to try again and make tweaks, or you may have learned that you don’t want to try these activities again.
8. Where did I stretch myself this year in my business? What things did I choose to do even though they pushed me past my comfort zone?
Getting out of your comfort zone is key to your own growth and that of your business. Pinpoint those moments where you stretched.
9. How do I feel about the state of my business now? How am I feeling about the future of my business?
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.