How to Reflect On This Year’s Business

I wrote this blog post four years ago but I thought I should bring it out again with a little updating as well.

Here are ways to look back at the end of the year and set up to do in the new year to focus on the positive and hopefully change any negatives to make your next year even more merry and bright.

1. During the year, monthly, or even weekly if you have time, record your progress for that time period. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you really have accomplished. If you did not do that this year it is not too late to get out the appointment book or job accounting records, take a look at your email account, and take a trip down memory lane. Keep lists of the following:

• all the new contacts you’ve made in person;
• all the one-on-one email, Facebook or similar B2B contacts you’ve made;
• any networking events, lunches, meetings you’ve attended and the benefit you got from them;
• press releases you published or any free publicity you’ve received;
• any classes you’ve taken to further your business, and how they improved your business plan;
• any recognition, award, or nomination you’ve received;
• new clients you’ve gotten this year and how much they financially impacted your bottom line;
• volunteer projects you’ve taken on;
• how many referrals did your referral program bring you;
• potential clients who’ve shown an interest in you that you can revisit this next year;
• creation or improvements of your website, social media, business cards, and other marketing materials.

2. Join a Business Success Team. These weekly group meetings with other small business owners are great for sharing ideas and the agenda often requires participants to report what they’ve done the past week and set a new goal for the following week. This is a great incentive to do what you said you would. Not all “B&I” groups are the same so find one that fits your marketing style and has members you think you can learn from.

3. Ask clients for feedback on the work you’ve done for them. Getting verbal testimonials over the phone, in writing is best, and if possible shoot a B&A video of jobs with the customer’s reaction after work is finished. Photo B&A will work too.

4. Keep an e-mail folder where you keep testimonials and any positive feedback you’ve received for something you’ve done. Add these monthly to your website, Pinterest board, or as footnotes to your e-mails.

5. Call up a friend, networking buddy, or another entrepreneur and go for coffee. Getting out of the office and sharing similar concerns with a like-minded person is a great morale booster and problem-solving activity. Knowing you are not the only one in the same boat or who has faced the same difficulty leaves you feeling better and hopefully with a solution or positive outlook.

6. Finally make yourself a list of how you can use these positive things to promote and make your business better in the next year.

Happy Holiday and Happy New Year to you all.