Last week, I wrote about planning for next year. This week, let’s look at how to review your results for this past year. This information will be critical for planning for next year, and for identifying:
- how to grow your company
- how to improve profits
- how to increase cash flow (to fund your growth)
- how to enhance business valuation, and
- how to build your business wealth.
Some people are so busy running their business, that is that their business is actually running them. They don’t have or take time to think, analyze, learn, and improve. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Next year’s plan can’t be “let’s do the same as last year.” The status quo is not a real option. It’s the absence of being proactive. It’s the absence of strategy. Status quo represents decline because you’re actually falling behind everyone else.
Ten Questions to Review the Current Year (and plan for next year)
Here are ten questions to help you analyze your business performance (and your leadership effectiveness) and help you plan for next year:
- What quantifiable results did you deliver to your clients? This is strategy and a huge competitive advantage for you.
- What were your biggest successes of the year and how did you celebrate them with your team? This is about culture.
- What percentage of your sales came from reactive order taking vs. proactively contacting your customers and prospects? This is selling.
- What percentage of your sales came from repeat and former customers and clients vs. new clients? This is marketing and reaching new customers.
- What percentage of your sales came from new products or services or offerings developed in the year that did not previously exist? This is innovation.
- How much did you increase your operational capacity, with or without capital expenditure? This is scalability.
- How did you enhance the skills and capabilities of your employees, so they could make better decisions, improve their performance, and enhance their career satisfaction? This is talent nurturing.
- How did you accelerate the flow of information to front line people and to decisions makers? This is about FLASH reporting and weekly team meetings.
- How did you grow as an owner and a leader? This is about your development and learning.
- How much did your business wealth increase in this past year? This is about company valuation and freedom for you.
For each of the questions, you can also ask: how do I improve this next year?
Take a notebook, journal, iPad, or open your computer, and make notes on the above questions. Some of the information may not be at your fingertips but it exists in your accounting, sales, and production information. It’s definitely worth seeking out. If you need help digging out the information, just ask me.
You will have the information to create an annual report and to develop a profitable growth plan for next year that will help to build your business wealth.