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As the holidays wrap up and the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to take a step back and review your business performance from 2019. Now’s the time to wrap up any loose ends and prepare to start the year strong! Set aside an hour or two each day for a week or so to take a serious look at your business.
With the wins and losses fresh in your mind, it’s the perfect time to recap what worked and what didn’t. Don’t get discouraged if you tried something and it didn’t get the results you expected. Turn the rough patches into learning experiences and create something positive from them. Go into the process with a positive mindset, detached from personal feelings, with a desire to make your business better.
Get Your Finances in Order
One of the most important steps for a business is to get your finances organized and ready to file taxes. It’s time to get all those receipts entered, send out W2’s, and make sure you’re ready for tax season. If you’re up to the challenge of doing it yourself, great! But if you don’t have a financial wizard on your staff, we recommend Executive Public Accountants, we work with them for our accounting needs and they specialize in working with small businesses, letting you focus on the work you love.
The main financial reports you want to look at include a Profit & Loss Statement (P&L), Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Report. Also, compare your quarterly revenue to any goals you set for yourself, then create new goals for 2020.
This is also a great time to review your payroll information. If you need to send out W2’s, make sure you’ve got the correct addresses for everyone, along with any other information you may need.
Review Your Body of Work
What did you do in 2019? Ask yourself a few questions about what your business accomplished. What went well? What can be improved? These kinds of questions will help you make a plan for the future based on real evidence. Here are more questions, which you can change to apply to your business:
- What were your most popular products/services?
- What were the most important things you did this year?
- What actions/projects/ideas are you most proud of? How did these perform?
- Did any actions lead to new relationships, partnerships, or opportunities?
- What did you spend the most time on? Was it a worthwhile investment of time and resources?
- What did you enjoy doing the most? How did it perform?
These questions can help you find some valuable insights into your business and spark ideas for where you should be going. Share these insights with the rest of your business and see what ideas pop up.
Celebrate Your Achievements
While it’s important to look at times you’ve stumbled, in order to figure out how to succeed in the future, it’s also beneficial to think about everything you’ve done right! List your accomplishments, then pick your top 3 and note any tools or processes used to make them happen. Celebrate the victories and use them to inspire new ideas and goals for the upcoming year. Small victories create big momentum, so use those wins to keep your business moving forward!
Review Your Goals
Having quarterly goals is a great way to make sure your business/revenue/marketing efforts are on track. Did you have quarterly goals for 2019? Compare your goals to your results and see how you did over the past year. Use those results to help you with next year’s quarterly goals. If you didn’t have any quarterly goals, now is the time to think about what you want out of your business in 2020. Break your big goals into 3-month chunks that are easily measured, and don’t worry about making “perfect goals.” All you need to start is a target, if it’s too easy or too difficult to reach, you can make adjustments until you find what’s right.
Technology allows us to have information at our fingertips instead of being buried under stacks of paper, but there’s a downside to that convenience. If you lose that data, it’s gone, or it’s going to be very expensive to recover. That’s why it’s always a good idea to regularly backup your data. If you need help setting up automated backups or other IT solutions, get in touch with DeltaWare, they specialize in custom solutions for businesses of any size. If you rely on your data, it’s important that it’s safe and secure.
Update Your Website
Your website can be so much more than just an online brochure. It can be your #1 salesperson, working while you’re asleep. Make sure everything is up to date, and fresh. Change some images, update your content, and keep your website relevant and helpful for your visitors. One of our newest services, Growth-Focused Website Design, ensures your website is up to date and optimized for what real visitors want to see. Contact us if you need help updating your website, creating a new website, or for any of the many services we provide for small businesses.
Performing a thorough review of your business will help guide you to bigger and better things in the new year. Take some time to step back and look at what has worked for your business and what can be improved.