Year End Review: Questions to Help Take Stock of Your Business

Happy New Year! It’s the season for champagne, beautiful clothes, sparklers, and parties.

It’s also the season of taking stock and making resolutions.

Before you decide to detox your business or go on a juice fast for your marketing because everybody else is doing it, it’s a very good idea to take a moment to reflect on what worked and what didn’t over the past year.

But there are so many different angles you could look at, it can be difficult to know what you should look at.

That’s why I put together this list of questions that can start off your year end review. Of course, these aren’t the only questions you can (or should) look at, but rather a good starting place for your own, unique review. Start with these questions and then see what other questions come up for you and your business.

The Big Picture

First, let’s take a look at the big picture:

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Even if you do nothing else for your year-end review, answering these questions can provide a 30,000-foot view of what happened with your business this year.

Ready to zoom in a little bit? Then let’s look at some numbers.

The Numbers

The numbers that will be most useful in your individual business may vary slightly, but these are some that are appropriate for most business owners:

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Then, it’s useful to think about how you like to communicate with your audience and how you market your business, whether that’s through blogging, podcasts, social media, etc. Look up the numbers associated with your communications, which might include your most popular blog posts, social media followers, podcast downloads, number of guest posts or podcast interviews, etc.

What other numbers are key in your business? Only you know for sure. Pull them out and add them to the list.

Once you’ve got the numbers, it’s important to ask yourself what story the numbers are telling. For example, how did your revenue grow or change over the year? Are you getting tons of visitors but not a lot of opt-ins? Or tons of opt-ins but not a lot of sales? How does your gross revenue compare to your profit?

All your numbers tell a story. What story are they telling you?

The Intangibles

Of course, the numbers are only part of the story.

It’s entirely possible that your business can look amazing on paper, but be draining the life out of you as you put in 60, 80, 90-hour weeks to make it all work. On the other hand, your revenue or profits might not be as high as some other people, but you might be living your dream life living in a yacht with wi-fi.

Or, more likely, you’re somewhere in between. Take the time to reflect on a few questions like:

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If the answers are yes, you’re on the fast track to success!  

If the answers to one or more of these is no, again, this isn’t an excuse to beat yourself up. Rather, it’s an opportunity to adjust your priorities for the next year to better reflect your big goals.

Maybe your big goals are to #workfromwherever. Or give back to a charity you support in a big way. Or work fewer hours per week. Or publish your book. Or set up a trust fund for your kids!

Whatever your big goals are, you can adjust your day-to-day work to reflect those goals and make bigger headway toward them.

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