Reviewing what has worked and being honest about what hasn’t is one of the best ways to progress in business. March 31st ended the first quarter of this year and now is the perfect time for review, reflection, adjustment and refinement.
This is a task made easier through frequent reviews. It’s much easier to remember and analyze what happened in the past three months than it is to try and remember what happened over the last year. Writing this or typing it into a document or spreadsheet is important too. All important decisions and analysis should be performed in writing so you can reread, speak and gain new perspective on the information.
This is a three part process that you find valuable both now and in the future.
Step 1: Review and Evaluate
Step 2: Record specific numbers and measurable outcomes – your Business Metrics
Step 3: Analyze and Plan your next quarter
Step 1 – Review and Evaluate:
Write down what your goals were for the past three months and answer a few questions:
- What were your biggest wins?
- What were the biggest challenges you faced?
- What lessons did you learn?
- What did you enjoy doing and why?
- What was difficult and why?
- What would you like to improve going forward?
Step 2 – Record specific numbers and measurable outcomes… your business metrics:
Knowing your numbers is the only tangible way to track business growth and demonstrate what is working and where you need to adjust going forward. Here are the basic ones you should track:
- Revenue – how much cash came in?
- Expenses – how much did you spend?
- Profit/Loss – how does this compare to where you stood last year at this time?
- Email subscribers – did your numbers increase?
- Sales conversations – is your marketing touching people?
- Sales conversions – are you turning potential clients into paying clients?
- Visitors to your website – are you reaching new people?
Step 3 – Analyze and Plan your next quarter:
- Read through your metrics.
- Compare your numbers with the first quarter of last year, if that information is available.
- Make notes regarding differences. For instance, perhaps last year you had a large push in January that you did not do this year.
- If you do not have numbers available from last year, record your impressions of what your present numbers may mean. Are they lower than anticipated? Higher?
Plan your next quarter:
- What do you want to accomplish in the next quarter?
- What measurable goals do you want to reach? (business metrics)
- What experiences do you intend to have?
- What do you need to stop doing and why?
- What do you choose to start doing and why?
Finally, put your goals onto your calendar and look at them each day! Stay focused and when you perform a half year review, you’ll be very pleased with what you see!