Q4 has just begun and it’s time to start looking back and planning ahead. Doing a year-end reflection and evaluation is essential to every business owner, but also important for individual progress. Kristin (my business partner) and I are about to embark on our first year-end review so I wanted to share the areas we will be looking into incase anyone wanted some ideas for their own. If you’re serious about setting and completing goals, you must track your progress. You can’t expect that your goal “journey” will be in a straight line, that’s not realistic. As long as you’re reevaluating along the way, you’ll keep on track. We’ve changed and updated our goals quite a few times because of our industry, target market, monetary objectives, where we wanted the company to go and well because sh*t happens. BUT, we always new our next step and end goal. What you accomplished in Year One will help you to plan Year Two, so here we go-
Sales & Financial Breakdown:
Money talks and numbers don’t lie. It’s time to open the books and see where your company stands. The number of sales made this year is a great indicator for what you can expect in the next. You can start mapping out your sales goals and use concrete numbers (yours) to set parameters for your company. What were your expenses? Did you go over budget? Is your company in the red or are you profitable? Were you able to contribute to a savings account? I can say confidently that we exceeded our goal within our target market and we set ourselves up for another profitable year. We took some services in-house which increased our profit margin, and we started to make strides on new streams of revenue for Year Two.
Who did you start with, which relationships thrived, and which ones didn’t? Great partnerships need to be in sync, exude professionalism, and bring success to both sides. Not every company partnership works out and that’s okay, as long as you can part ways correctly and not burn the bridge. Looking back on the year, the partnerships that helped your company grow are keepers. The ones that kept your company in the same place need to be seriously evaluated as to whether to keep them or move on. This brings us to the ones where both parties had high hopes but there was no synergy, no monetary gain, and time lost. Your goal is to grow, so is your partners, so if after careful evaluation and looking at your books, make the business decision to cut what’s holding your company back.
Organization is everything; you need to have a process, many of them. What worked this year and what can be improved? One key indicator of your organization is prepping for this year-end review. Are you scrambling and just now making summary sheets to review all these components, or are you prepared to evaluate your own company? I am a stickler for organization and I don’t just do it out of habit or because I work better that way. I want to make sure my company is organized so that we are prepared for the future. One of our goals for Year Two is to ramp up our hiring. If that is a goal of yours, can you easily teach new employees your system, or are you throwing them to the wolves with a mess of unnamed folders, missing client information, and a haphazard process? AKA are you going to be just setting your new employee up to fail? I’ve worked in a company where evaluating processes was viewed as unimportant, and guess where that company is now? Out of business.
You’ve reviewed the money and day to day components but how did your company do as a whole? In a public aspect, were you able to grow your brand? The bigger question is did you establish a brand? Did you set yourself apart from the competition in a way that proves in your books? For Energetek, we wanted to grow our online presence even though our target market isn’t necessary involved in social media. Why you may ask did we still think this was important? Brand, name negotiation, and selling who we are (Kristin and I). We are two women, under 30, entrepreneurs, in the energy industry, and working mainly with industrial companies such as manufacturers, refineries, fabricators, and finishers. We are out there talking to fifth generation factory owners, learning about their machines, and getting in the weeds of it. Our days aren’t typical but that’s what we love and we wanted to share this because it’s our brand; it’s us. How are you making moves to the top?
Mental Health & Company Culture:
Is your head in the game and has it been this year? What was your day to day like at the start and how has it changed in this quarter? Are you creating a healthy work/life balance? Do you need to better time manage? These are just a few of the questions we will be asking ourselves. Especially in a startup business, it is extremely easy to loose yourself in your work because it’s year one and it’s special ops time, but you still can’t completely loose your mind. Reflect on how you managed your time in the beginning of the year and what changes you made each week and quarter to improve. How can you cut out time wasted and maximize your working hours this coming year? One thing I know my business needs to better incorporate next year is celebrating successes big and small. We are so busy with work that we miss stopping for a second and acknowledging a win. As a business owner every goal hit is a huge achievement because it’s yours and you put in every percent of work to achieve it; celebrate that.
Goals for the Coming Year:
Time to set the milestones you want to hit in the next year. You have the numbers for what you did and can do, now it’s time to do it better. As stated before, goals and the paths to get there will change, that’s inevitable, but just remember to reevaluate and write it down. My last suggestion for this review for those like me who have a business partner, do this evaluation together in person. You made it through the year and that’s celebration number one. Be sure to set a good amount of time aside to do this year-end review. A lot of work went into 2019 and you want to make sure 2020 is even better.
Written by Eva Gerrits