- Assess How Your Home Business Contributed to Your Goals
- Review your Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies
- Analyze the Financial Numbers of Your Business
- Think of a Backup Plan for Your Business
- Analyze Your Web Analytics
- Prepare Your Mind for New Challenges Ahead
- Assess Your Marketing Strategies
- Make a List of Strategies that Worked
- Check Your Competition
- Develop Your Goals and Strategies for Next Year
- How to Start a Successful Small Business
As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at what you achieved this year and assess the performance of your business. Knowing how well (or poorly) you did this year can help you improve for the coming years.
I’ve written a series of articles entitled “Home Business End of the Year Review” providing a checklist of 10 things you need to do to review how your home business performed this year. This is the first part of the series
PART 1. Assess how this year contributed to your overall business goals.
Whether you have a written formal business plan or just notes scribbled in your diary, look back at whether your business has achieved the goals and objectives you have set out when you started. See how far you have gone in reaching what you wanted to achieve, and use the results of your business review to redefine your business goals.
You need to know the answers to three basic questions:
- Where is the business now?
- Where is it going?
- How is it going to get there?
Specifically, ask yourself:
- Are you achieving the vision you have set out for the business?
- Do you feel that you are doing everything yet your business is still going nowhere?
- If you started the business to become the main source of income for your family, is the business earning enough to support yourself (and family, if any)?
- How has the business affected your life? Does it allow you to have more time with your family, or do you feel more stressed and overworked?
- How has the economic downturn affected your business? Did you have to downscale your plans and cut back on your planned expenditures?
- Are the mission and objectives you’ve set out for the business still the same? If they are, how valid and relevant are these mission and objectives given the economic, industry and competitive landscape? If not, what compelled you to change them?
- What were the strategies you followed with regards to products/services, operations, marketing, finance, and technology, among others?
- What have you done this year to increase your sales and market share?
- What were your strategies to finance (or raise financing for) the business this year? Do you anticipate any problems next year with regards to financing?
- What were your strategies to improve productivity and lower costs?
Get a clear idea of where your business really stands. Look at your business with an analytical eye. For all the bullet points above, understand the factors why there is a discrepancy, if any, between the actual performance and your desired performance. Knowing the “whys” can help you plan better for the coming year.