As the year comes to a close, it’s important for small businesses to take the time to reflect on the past year’s successes and challenges. This reflective process can help inform future decisions and set goals for the upcoming year.
Don’t be discouraged if you faced some setbacks or challenges this year, as they can often be valuable learning experiences that can help you grow and improve. Remember to celebrate your successes and be proud of all you have accomplished. With the right mindset and tools, you can set yourself up for success in the coming year and beyond.
Below are four ways to help you take a look back. At the end of this post, you’ll also find a printable checklist to assist with your review.
#1 Review Financial Statements
One of the most important steps in the year-end review process is to review your financial statements. This includes profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Doing so lets you identify areas where you might have overspent or under-budgeted for marketing. Did your spending meet your expected return on investment or even exceed your expectations? This information can guide your budgeting decisions for the upcoming year.
#2 Evaluate Marketing Efforts
Next, evaluate your marketing efforts throughout the past year to determine what worked and what didn’t. Take a look at your website traffic, social media engagement, and lead generation to determine what channels were most effective in getting the message out. Use this data to identify the types of content that performed best with your target audience. Sprout Social has a solid primer on how to make sense of your social metrics. Once you know, you can adjust your strategy to create more content that resonates and retire what doesn’t work.
#3 Assess Performance
Even if you’re an office of one, looking at your performance is a valuable exercise. Start by identifying your accomplishments from the past year. Reflect on the tasks you completed and the projects you contributed to. Think about the feedback you received from others to see your strengths and where you added value. Consider areas of improvement, such as improving communication or time management, and make a plan to attend a Quickbooks workshop or get a mentor.
#4 Celebrate Achievements
It’s important to celebrate the milestones you’ve achieved along the way. These milestones can serve as a reminder of the progress you’ve made and the goals you’ve accomplished. Some examples of small business milestones include reaching a certain number of customers, hitting a revenue target, or expanding into a new market. Remember, even the smallest milestones can be a cause for celebration and keep you motivated and engaged for the year ahead.
Taking the time to reflect on the past year can be a powerful tool for small businesses. You can gain valuable insights into your daily operations by reviewing financial statements, evaluating marketing efforts, assessing performance, and celebrating achievements.
This reflective process can guide budgeting decisions, inform marketing strategies, and identify areas for improvement. A clear path and celebrating milestones along the way, no matter how small, remind you of your progress and keep you motivated and engaged for the year ahead.
Need a hand with any of the above steps? Contact us to learn how the experts at Fisher Green Creative can help grow your small business or even be there to help you celebrate all you have accomplished.
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.