No matter what stage of business you’re at, it’s always a good idea to take time to analyze and understand your annual business performance throughout the year–and set fresh goals for the upcoming period.
Not only does this help you understand where you can make improvements in your business short-term. It also sets you up for success in the long-term. By thinking through your business strategically and intentionally now, you’ll be better prepared to grow your brand in the future.
This December is the perfect time to review and assess your business during 2022. Before the new year kicks into gear!
Go through your goals for the past year, and check in to see whether or not you reached them. What goals did you come up short on? Did you exceed other goals you weren’t expecting to? Did you tend to do better on marketing goals, fiscal goals, team-building goals, or some particular category compared to others?
Once you’ve made a note of your business performance over the past year, it’s time to dig into the why. Understanding the reason behind why your goals were met – or not – is the most important part of the process. When you know what factors contributed to your success, you’ll be able to replicate that down the road. At the same time, you’ll be able to change or modify aspects of your business that don’t help you reach your goals. So you can find ways that do work.
I recommend looking at both tangible metrics, like sales, profit, expenses, and marketing activities. As well as non-tangible metrics. Like who you enjoyed working with, what projects made you excited, and what connections you made.
After reviewing your past goals, it’s time to reflect and use the information you’ve gathered to set new goals for the future. You want to create a plan that allows your business to run successfully. While allowing you to do more of what you love doing. After all, that’s why you started your business, isn’t it?
First look at tangible areas you want to focus on in your business. Here are some ideas of things you might consider:
Every business is unique, but look for ways you can optimize your time so you’re doing more of the tasks you love (and are good at). Maybe that means delegating more, hiring employees to help you with your workload, scheduling out your projects to stay on task, or investing in automations that give you some hours back in your day.
Think back to what you did well during 2022. Use that as a jumping off point so you can build off your success. Then add in goals you want to work toward, but have been more challenging in the past. Set specific metrics that will help you measure the effort you’re putting in. Then you can check back in to see how you’re doing throughout the year.
Annual planning will help you become better equipped to make decisions in the best interest of your business. That said, you should absolutely follow up your big annual planning session with smaller analyses throughout the year.
Checking in with your goals quarterly or even monthly will allow you to make adjustments to your goals as needed. Allowing you to capitalize on your successes (and fix any problems you’re having) before the year’s end.
As you begin to plan out your goals for 2023, always ask yourself if your goals are helping you achieve the version of your business you truly want. There’s no use working toward goals that don’t support your long-term vision for your business. It’s important to put goals into action now that align with the business of your dreams.
For more guidance on what questions to ask yourself as you move your business forward for the new year, I recommend downloading this free guide. In it, I’ll walk you through a strategic approach for thinking about your business as you work to scale and transform your brand in the future.