One of the things I like to do once the Christmas festivities are over and the new year has been rung in is to take a look back at how my business fared during the past year. This is a useful activity to do as it not only reminds you of where you are heading but it also gives you a chance to celebrate your successes and little wins which are often forgotten amidst the hustle and bustle of business life.
There are several ways to do this (most very involved and complicated) but last year I found this article in “Flying Solo” by Robert Gerrish** which explains how to review your business year in just 15 minutes. Being a very time-poor solopreneur, this appealed to me very much so I gave it a go, loved it, and will be doing it again this year!
Gerrish explains in the article, that even though you may be the only person working in your business, it is still important to hold yourself accountable for all business outcomes whether they be positive or negative. One way to do this is to review your business year (every year) and Gerrish has provided 5 simple review questions that he claims you can answer in 15 minutes.
The answers to these questions will help you to construct a mini end-of-year report which could be used as the basis for future business planning. Here are the questions:
1. How have things run for you this year?
With a maximum score of 10, rate your:
Satisfaction with the strength of client relationships
Happiness with the flow of ideal clients
Skill at communicating with others
Capacity to handle pressure and overwhelm
Ability to stay focused on priorities
2. What have been your emotive milestones? (I like this question the most!)
What are you happiest about?
What are you most excited about?
What are you proudest of?
3. What areas need improvement?
List five aspects of your work that you’d like to bolster in the year ahead.
4. Aren’t we forgetting something?
Now do the same for your life. (Didn’t see that coming, did you?)
5. Who would benefit from reading your report?
Take a moment to consider who deserves to hear about how your year has gone and tee up a time to talk it over. (This is important – don’t keep it to yourself. Let others have some input – it could be very helpful)
Give yourself approximately 3 minutes to answer each question and see if you can do the questionnaire in 15 minutes. The results may surprise and delight you. You may like to use this mini report as the basis of making new plans and goals for the year ahead (that’s what I do :-)).
If you do this little questionnaire, I’d love to hear how you went and if you learnt anything new or surprising about your business or even yourself – leave your thoughts below.
**(Article from Flying Solo, 5th December 2012, written by Robert Gerrish)