For many businesses, the new financial year is a fresh start, both in terms of financial objectives and business growth goals.
It's time to review and work out what went well and get very clear on what exactly, (or who) didn't deliver to expectations.
During my Strategy Workshop sessions with clients, we make a point of taking a hard look at what you have achieved to date because it provides vital clues for what then needs to change, so that we get different results this year.
I wanted to share with you my 5 Step framework to help you evaluate your past year and unlock the business growth lessons, so you can plan for success next time:
Step 1: Make it real: Write it down
Get a piece of paper or open a fresh online google docs and make a list of:
- all the things that went well over the year and;
- the things that didn’t go so well.
Pro tip: Go through your diary month by month if it helps you remember and make sure that you’re honest with yourself about what happened. Capture as much as you can.
Once you have your 2 lists, you can then assess what you would do differently or more of, next time. Make sure you actually extract the learning from this review as you look at your lists.
Step 2: Set Your Standards & Goals
Next write down the things you’d like to achieve next year. Make it big, inspiring and a motivating set of goals.
Then, break down those major goals into all the baby steps you'll take to get there.
Next set hard performance targets. For example, not just sales targets - what about other key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:
- Monthly website visitor numbers
- No. of people on your email list
- Average Order Value
- Conversion rates
- Abandonned Cart Recovery Rate
- Daily Perfect Pick Rate
- Social media engagement
If there were things on your "what went well" list that you could do more of - plan it in now! Success, breeds success, so if something worked, can you scale it up or increase the frequency or volumes to help your business grow?
Step 3: Mindset: Don’t dwell on your failures
If some things haven’t worked out that well this year, it’s important to acknowledge them but not to dwell on them. Honestly, just don't be too hard on yourself. What's done is done.
Instead, create a mindset to ensure you don't repeat those mistakes and learn from them! Simply establish the facts, capture what went wrong and how you can make sure it doesn't happen again.
For example, if you had a shocker and failed to make a customer deadline or you repeatedly missed financial goals – work out why this is happening and take steps to change it.
- Do you need to manage your time better on project delivery?
- Do you need to ask for help when it comes to marketing or driving sales?
- Have you been prioritising the wrong things?
- Is your personal life interfering too much at work?
Giving an honest answer will help you identify ways to improve and hopefully get you back on track for the next year.
Step 4: Don’t forget about your people
Don’t just reserve this review for your hard financial or business growth goals; it’s important that you take a look at your people too. True online business growth and long term success is all about the capabilities and passion of your people.
- Did you spend time developing your team this year?
- Did you have the right people, in the right roles?
- Did you create thinking space and opportunity for innovation?
- Were you and your team able to spend time with family? and make time for health and wellbeing?
By taking a look at your own home life too, you may be able to pinpoint areas for change that leads to better success habits and focused performance during work hours.
Step 5: Ask others
Not sure where to start or what your business weak points have been?
Ask someone to help you. Choose a business mentor or a colleague who knows your business well and is able to give you honest, good feedback about your performance year.
Sometimes having someone who is truly independent to your business is the best way to identify what you need to fix, share fresh thinking, as well as lovingly challenging you on how to pull your socks up and do better next year!
Make It Happen In Your Business
Your new financial year is a time to be positive. When the new business year begins, if you have taken the time to do the reflection, the thinking and the planning - you will be armed with fresh ideas and new targets to skyrocket your online business success.
Time to make this next performance year even better than the last!
- Do the "what went well", "what didn't go so well" list making exercise to review your business performance. Be honest and capture the detail. If you would like me to help you with this review process, please reach out to discuss booking a Strategy workshop session together.
- Take time to really absorb the lessons. Both the good ones and especially the bad ones that make you wince and curl up in a ball hoping someone didn't notice...
- If you discover an activity that really boosted sales or got you noticed - commit to doing more of it this year!
- Don't forget to review your people performance too - how much did you give as a leader in terms of personal energy and commitment to development? Did you structure your team for success?
- Plan with enthusiasm for the year ahead. Create motivating goals for the future and set a clear direction.
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