How to do an end-of-year review for your startup or small business
This blog stems from one of the questions asked at our Lean Coffee event. The problem was, how do you review your business at the end of each year?
What do you mean by an end-of-year review?
An end-of-year review involves taking time collecting and assessing relevant information to develop a clear view of your performance, and the performance of your business, over the past year. This information helps to make decisions and guide the strategy for the year to come.
What's the point of an end-of-year review?
If there's not a valuable outcome from the process, there's no point doing it. Here are three reasons why I believe an end-of-year review is a good use of time:
It's An Opportunity To Re-Focus
Any opportunity to reconnect with the overall purpose and mission behind what you are working on is valuable. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget what the point of it is. Putting the end goal front of mind will help to prioritise what is most important.
The Best Way To Predict Your Future Performance Is By Looking At Your Past Performance
Optimism is a useful mindset when starting a business, but it can lead to unrealistic goals and expectations. Reviewing the year that has just been will help to ground your plans for the coming year in reality.
Data Is More Reliable And Less Dramatic Than Your Memory
There is likely an abundant amount of data that collected over the last year to use to assess your performance - your bank transactions or financial reports, your website analytics, your calendar entries etc. The specific information that is shown by this data is beneficial for making decisions about how to improve your performance next year. Often it's the small changes that make the difference, rather than big dramatic ones.
How to do an end-of-year review for your business:
Step 1: Assess Your Progress Towards The Overall Goal And Any KPI's You've Set
Step 2: Financial Analysis
Step 3: Productivity Analysis
Step 4: Personal Reflection
An end-year-review of your business is an excellent way to bank the learnings from the year and use them to inform the strategy for the coming year. In this article, we've suggested some questions you can find the answers to help with this review process. These questions fall under four broad categories: progress towards the overall mission, financial performance, productivity and personal reflection.
We wish you all the best with this process and for the coming year! May it be wildly successful.
Thanks to James Rowlands for posing this question at Lean Coffee 👍