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Looking Back to Move Forward

Looking Back to Move Forward

1 week into the New Year and a lot of us are keen to hit the ground running with new goals to achieve and plans being formulated to make this year better than the last. But how can you ‘make things better’?  Well technically you can’t, unless you review your performance from the previous year! Taking time out now, in the first few weeks of the year, to review last year’s goals, forecasts and plans and what you actually achieved will provide you with a clear idea of went well and frankly what didn’t! The information from your review will help you create better goals, forecasts and plans, which should help you work towards making 2019 better than 2018.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

As you go through your review you will come across areas that were not achieved. This may be due to circumstances out of your control such as health issues, family commitments, financial constraints, ineffective business relationships and much more. Bearing these in mind make sure that you are not too hard on yourself and if you aim to try again, on the areas that did not work out, think of ways to achieve your goals in a different way to previously planned.

Looking back to 2018

Here are a few questions that will help you get started with your review

  • How many new contracts/Clients did you gain? (Add monetary values as relevant)
  • In what ways were you able to gain the most amount of business?
    • Recommendations/Referrals;
    • Marketing campaigns – social media, websites/ecommerce sites;
    • Networking;
    • Seminars, talks, workshops;
    • Tenders/Contract opportunities
  • Did you lose any contracts/clients, If so why?
  • What were your most popular goods/services?
  • What products/services did not sell as well as expected?
  • What type of feedback did you receive, if any?
  • What new systems, policies or practices did you adopt in your business to help move it forward?
  • Overall what went well in 2018?

How to document your annual review

Whether using the traditional pen and paper method or if you have an online/digital tool that works best for you, the main thing is to thoroughly document your review and save/store it in an accessible place.

Your review is a snapshot of what happened throughout the year and does not require you to fully disclose the personal and/or financial details of every client, customer, company or colleague you have interacted or done business with over the year. You will already have this information in your business records.

Moving forward in 2019

Once you have completed your review, give yourself time to understand and digest the outcomes, some of which will be positive that you will be able to build on and others will need room for improvement, where you may need to work on or abandon entirely.

Armed with your annual review you are better placed to get your 2019 business plans in place and if you are attending a business planning workshop, such as our 90 day business planning workshop, you will feel more confident to create a realistic plan that will move your business forward in the New Year.

We wish you all the best with your business in 2019 and in this case looking back will definitely help you move forward!