When the end of the year rolls around, it feels as if one question sticks out above all else and that is: is a New Year here already?”
It does not help that we are entering year two of a pandemic where time seems to have stood still and yet raced past us, both at the same time.
Yet here we are, closer than ever to 2022.
In the blink of an eye January will be here which makes it a perfect time for you to wind up client projects and put focus on your own business, recap the year gone by and plan the year ahead.
Having done this exercise repeatedly I want to share with you some of the things I wrap my mind and heart around to embark on the next 12 months with a fresh perspective and a solid understanding of how I’d like things to run.
5 THINGS TO REVIEW IN YOUR BUSINESS BEFORE 2022.
Here are the top 5 things I review at the end of each year to make sure I feel good about the next 12 months ahead.
1. What to reflect on towards the end of the year?
I like beginning at the beginning. By that I mean I dust off the plans I made at the start of the year under review (in this case 2021) and look at all the things I intended to launch and produce/create.
I divide the list into two areas:
- The big things: any large pushes, launches, partnerships, hires, and projects we had a hand in from January until now, and
- The little things: redo office space or start my day one hour later so I can rest more, adapt my workflows etc
But making the list is just the first part, where it really becomes an end of year review is with your analysis.
So for instance, you’ll want to take stock of anything that seemed off in terms of your time, money, resources spent vs. what results you expected?
Also important is looking at your growth paths; and understanding where you got the biggest impact with minimum effort and which areas demanded a lot of your time and money but got you little in return.
I know this kind of assessment will work for you especially if you look at things with a critical eye, taking off the table the actions that did not work, elevating the partnerships that brought the best results.
My focus at this time is on two Rs only. Repeat or Replace. Frankly, these two phrases are the most simple and effective to implement
02. Look Critically At Your Team
We all rely on someone to help us build our small businesses.
In an age of remote work, that team member can be as far as way as Australia or it could be someone as close by as your housekeeper who helps take your photographs for your social media platforms.
Every role is important. You’re paying money for every single bit. So assessing if everyone is fitting into the big picture is crucial stuff at the end of the year. Teamwork makes the dream work is more than just a catchy phrase.
This year for instance I hired a full-time designer to work with me and that has made such a difference to how I am showing up with my digital products and how beautiful and well thought out they look.
If you have a team, take time to do a little review of how your team members or contractors are doing and check in with them.
This is not the everyday kind of check-up. First, you need to ask yourself a tough question: Does everyone fit the roles they are in? Even tougher: have you done all you can to make sure they’re aware of your expectations?
Questions To Ask
Once you have that base covered, go deep with them, the ones you are moving forward with.
- First and foremost, do they feel accomplished and good about their contribution to the big picture?
- Are they feeling overwhelmed and if so in what areas?
- Could they take more off of your plate, or do they need to do less in areas that don’t feel like a match any longer?
- Is it time for a pay increase if they are taking on added responsibilities ?
- Do they have any ideas on things you could change or do better?
In the past, I used to think that I needed to know it all but sometimes the best answers come from the people on your team.
You’d be surprised what you could learn once you listen.
I can’t tell you how many incredible ideas we’ve implemented for my business based simply on conversations with my team and checking in with their own needs, desires, and goals.
03. Review Your Memberships and Subscriptions
Your subscriptions especially the unused ones, add up. Take it from me, I’m super embarrassed to tell you that I paid $3,000 for subscriptions I did not use in 2018.
That was 3 years again and I make it a point at the end of the year to look at that list and check it twice.
As you wrap up the year, there’s nothing that feels better than making sure every dollar has a purpose is accounted and is attached to an outcome that adds value.
Looking at your expenses closely might reveal opportunities to save money or switch things up a bit and pursue new opportunities which is often necessary as your small biz adapts and grows.
One thing you may want to consider doing is getting your accountant to keep track of those creeping expenses just by looking at your credit card bill every month and then having a discussion with you every quarter about the value each subscription brings.
It’s easy to forget those impulses that triggered you to buy something you thought you wanted but really did not.
Also, it will help tremendously to have a Google Doc with all your subscriptions in one spot. That way you can check it yourself at any time. I can’t begin to tell you how plugging those holes at the end of the year feels so good.
O4: Talk To Your Accountant By The End Of The Year
This goes back to my first point really. At the end of year, you want to know about your profits and loss, which clients brought you the most income, where you see opportunities for growth in your business.
You want to take the time to go over spreadsheets, ask questions and have a frank discussion. For instance, you want to check if are you relying too heavily on one source of revenue and if you are, your numbers will tell you that you need to diversify your income streams.
Never enter a new year without knowing your numbers, they are often, in business, your best storytellers. I can’t urge you enough to take their stories to heart
O5: BY The End Of The Year Get Your Content Strategy Together
Content planning is something you should not neglect. You cant have moved your business online and not have recognised that at the heart of what you do an essential part of it is content creation. It’s a critical path to creating a business and a brand online, building community and providing services and products because you understand what your community wants and needs.
At the end of the year, you’ve got to take a look at what content training you need to invest in and what tools will help you become a more efficient, compelling content creator.
Ahhh, how good do all of these suggestions feel? I know that when I take these actions I feel purposeful and free. Yeah, that’s it, I feel FREE and prepared for the year ahead. Doing these exercises at the end of year should take no more than 2-3 days. If you’re doing everything from scratch it will take you longer. Whatever the timeframe there is a deep sense of purpose at the end of each exercise.
The added bonus is you’ll be entering 2002 with intention, ready to take on the joys and challenges of running a business in yet another pandemic year.
Truthfully, I had to remind us all of that.