year end review

How to Conduct a Year-End Review for Your Business

It’s the season of gratitude, and just as it’s important to take stock of what you should be grateful for in your personal life, it’s equally important to spend some time taking stock of your business strengths and accomplishments.

A year-end review is a key opportunity to reflect on what’s going well within your business and to share that information – and your gratitude – with your team.

Here’s how to use your year end review to define your wins and set the stage for further success in the new year.

What is a year-end review?

A year-end business review is exactly what it sounds like – it’s your chance to look back on how your business performed for the calendar year.

Think of it like a high-level executive summary of your practice’s accomplishments.

If you’re like most business owners, the day-to-day running of your business absorbs most of your time and energy, so a year-end review gives you a chance to reflect on and analyze your achievements.

You can identify areas of strength and weakness so that you can start with a clean slate in the new year, along with a sense for where you can improve.

It can also help inform the individual performance evaluations you complete with your team.

Why is a year-end review important?

By identifying what’s working well and what isn’t – a year-end review provides a sound basis for the decisions you make about your business operations moving forward.

A year-end review can provide insight into everything from team dynamics, marketing campaigns, and process bottlenecks to customer satisfaction.

Keep in mind, though, that a year-end review isn’t just about identifying areas for improvement. While that’s important, it’s also key to recognize your areas of strength and achievement.

Knowing where you’re strong helps you to get stronger.

It also presents an opportunity to express your gratitude to the team members whose hard work helped achieve your goals.

5 steps for an effective year-end review

Here’s how to conduct an effective year-end business review:

1. Schedule the time

This step might be the toughest.

You have to be intentional about reserving enough time to thoughtfully evaluate your practice.

Don’t try to fit this in between all your other responsibilities or cram it all into one afternoon at the end of December.

Be thoughtful and intentional during the last quarter of the year about setting aside time to review your business operations.

Respect the process and factor it into your schedule.

An even better practice is to complete a mini-review at the end of each business quarter, which leaves you only the task of consolidating these individual reports to reflect the full calendar year.

2. Analyze performance against KPIs

Objectively and dispassionately evaluate your success against the metrics you set at the beginning of the year.

It’s important not to sugarcoat anything here.

If you didn’t reach a particular goal, dig into why.

And just as importantly, where did your team crush it? How did they do it? How can you scale those strategies and behaviors?

This is your chance to articulate which strategies are working to reach your goals – and which ones aren’t.

Maybe you launched a new marketing campaign this year or focused more intently on recruitment efforts. The KPIs in your progress dashboard will tell you how those efforts are affecting your practice.

3. Evaluate financial performance

Take a look at your financial statements and assess everything from your cash flow and expenses to whether you stayed within your operating budget and whether it’s time to adjust the pricing for your products and/or services.

Your year-end business review can also serve as an informal audit.

You might find accounting or bookkeeping inaccuracies that you then have the opportunity to correct before it’s too late.

4. Identify opportunities

This is where the year-end review gets more fun.

Based on what you know about the closing year’s performance, you can begin building your goals and strategies for the coming year.

Depending on your performance, you might keep your KPIs the same, or you might adjust them to be more realistic or even to stretch your team.

5. Share your assessment and express your gratitude

You may have had support from your team in putting your year-end review together, but they also need to see the finished product and understand what it means for their areas of responsibility moving into the new year.

Gather your team and walk through the year-end review with them, making sure to highlight areas where their respective efforts have supported your practice’s success.

In addition, make sure to get their feedback on how KPIs should adjust for the following year – what is their perspective on the challenges and opportunities that will shape your practice’s success?

A year-end review is a key opportunity to reflect on what’s going well within your business and to share that information – and your gratitude – with your team.

If you’d like some support as you undertake yours, I’m here to help.

Reach out and set up a strategy session today.

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