Now is a really great time for you to reflect on how 2019 has gone for you and your business.
By taking the time to reflect fully on your past year you will gain a concrete understanding of what has gone well, and what didn’t go so well. Plus, what you learn from this year in business will support you with achieving greater success in 2020!
Simply follow my 4-Step Process to Reflect on Your Year In Business:
Step 1 – Identify Your Important Business Numbers
If you are anything like me, you might be drawn to relying on your memory to give you an assessment of how your year has been. But I find that my memory is often not that reliable or accurate.
It’s when I look at the numbers that I get that real clarity around exactly how things have gone this year.
The good news for you is that you should already have a lot of the numbers you need to hand because you’ll have pulled them together to file your tax return.
Here are the important business revenue numbers to look at for 2019:
- Total Revenue
- Total Profit
- Total Expenses
- Cost of each sale
- Average Customer Spend With You
Ask yourself – “How do your business numbers compare with your results in 2018?”
Calculate the percentage increase (or decrease) in your business as compared to 2018.
Once I have calculated my business revenue numbers, I tend to look at my marketing numbers, and Key Performance Indicators.
These numbers help me get clear on where my clients came from, and the marketing activities I did that led me to generate clients. I know that you will also find this information incredibly helpful when it comes to setting your goals for 2020.
Here are the important Marketing Numbers & Key Performance Indicators:
- Total number of clients gained in 2019
- Breakdown of where these clients came from e.g. Referrals, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Email List, Cold or Warm Audience etc..
- Average Client Spend
- Marketing cost per client gained
- Email List Size & Growth over 2019
- Social Media Connections/ Followers Size & Growth over 2019
Ask yourself – “How do your marketing numbers compare with your results in 2018?”
Calculate the percentage increase (or decrease) in your marketing performance as compared to 2018.
Here are some of the important Sales Conversion Numbers:
- Number of appointments booked in per week/month/ year
- Sales conversion ratio for the year
Ask yourself – “How do your sales conversion numbers compare with your results in 2018?”
Calculate the percentage increase (or decrease) in your sales conversions as compared to 2018.
Step 2 – Evaluate What Went Well
If you set yourself goals for your business at the start of 2019 now is the time to pull out your goals, and review how you got on with achieving your goals at the same time as looking at your numbers.
I recommend you start by looking at what went well with your business this year, because we are hardwired to look at the negative. By starting with the positive you can avoid beating yourself up and be objective about how your year has been.
Take the time now to write down on paper what went well with your business this year. You might find it useful to answer the following questions:
- What business goals have you been able to achieve this year?
- How did you achieve those business goals?
- What marketing goals have you been able to achieve this year?
- How did you achieve those marketing goals?
- Which marketing approaches led you to gain the most clients?
- What are you most proud of in relation to your achievements with your business this year?
Knowing what has been working for you in your business and marketing is going to be important to helping you plan your strategy so you can do more of what’s been working in 2020.
It is so easy to ignore what’s been working, and in fact to get distracted by following the next shiny object or strategy. The reality is to scale and grow your business in 2020 you just need to do more of what is already working for you.
Step 3 – Evaluate What Didn’t Go So Well
Now it is time to look at what didn’t go so well. I prefer not to say what went badly, but to use the wording what could have be improved on.
This exercise is not about berating yourself, it is about objectively looking at what didn’t work so we can learn from this and do less of what didn’t work next year.
Again, you’re pulling out the goals you set at the start of 2019 and reflecting on which goals were you not able to achieve this year. Which targets you fell short of.
Take the time now to write down on paper what didn’t go so well your business this year. You might find it useful to answer the following questions:
- What business goals were you not able to achieve this year?
- Why weren’t you achieve those business goals?
- What marketing goals were you not able to achieve this year?
- Why weren’t you able to achieve those marketing goals?
- Which marketing approaches didn’t convert to clients? Or didn’t perform as you expected
- What are your key learnings and lessons from what didn’t work or go well for you with your business this year?
There could have been other goals you had for yourself too that you haven’t covered in the review you have done already. These goals might be around your fulfilment, happiness in your work, and following passion projects.
Make sure you take time to review how you got on with the fulfilment and passion orientated goals you set for yourself.
Step 4 – Lessons and Learnings
This step is where you bring all your reflections together into the key lessons and learnings that you want to take from your year in business.
- “What can I learn from what went well with my business this year?”
- “What business strategies and approaches do I want to do more of in 2020 to continue growing my business?”
- “Given what worked, what goals (and Key Performance Indicators) should I set for 2020?”
Make sure to write your answers down on paper. Then ask yourself,
- “What can I learn from what didn’t go so well with my business this year?”
- “What business strategies and approaches do I want to do less of in 2020, so I can continue growing my business?”
- “Given what didn’t work, what goals (and Key Performance Indicators) should I set for 2020?”
You will now have complete clarity on the business goals and strategy to set yourself for 2020. You will know what to do less of and what to do more of so you can achieve even bigger success this coming year!
Have fun with this reflection process and remember not everything goes perfectly to plan, because sometimes something even better arises that you cannot predict.
Be grateful for what you have accomplished, because this will bring you more of what you want in 2020.
Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing how you got on, what came out of your reflecting on your year 2019, and the learnings and lessons, you are taking forward into 2020!
“Shelley is the founder of the UK’s leading provider of online business and marketing training to Coaches. An experienced entrepreneur Shelley has helped hundreds of Coaches, Consultants and Therapists to attract High-Paying Clients and Build Highly Profitable Coaching Businesses”
Shelley Hutchinson, Marketing Expert, clientnectar.com