Have you gone shopping lately? If so, no doubt you’ve noticed that the stores are full of the holiday trifecta, a mash-up of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations. Earlier and earlier each year it seems, stores begin stocking shelves with holiday pretties to try to entice you to spend your hard-earned dollars on fripperies. This can only mean one thing: the end of another year is upon us.
As the year comes to a close, you will want to reflect back over the past nine months. Take some time to review your business plan (because you do have a written business plan, right?), with an eye on the metrics you set earlier in the year. How closely did your outcomes resemble your stated goals? While the world turned around us, the economy and people’s confidence levels fluctuated almost in sync. How did the market changes impact your business? How did you maneuver in the changing business environment? Did you remain “steady as she goes” or did you find the need to change your tactics, perhaps offer discounts or packages to get more business? What was the resultant impact on your bottom line? Are you ahead of projections, behind projections, or no change either way?
Once you’ve determined your successes from this year, together with areas needing improvement, it’s time to turn your attention to your goals for the New Year. Where will you focus your time? Should you explore new (different) business opportunities? Should you consider partnering with other business owners? Is it time to consider different events or programs – both live and online? You’ll certainly want to look at your marketing strategies, and maybe, just maybe it’s time to hire help. Whatever areas you’ve determined to focus on, make sure you write out your plans, together with a timeline so that you can stay on track and reach even higher levels of success.
Report back: will you be making any changes in your business strategies next year?