Use a Year-End Assessment For Business Growth Planning

Since 2016 is upon us, it’s time to reflect on the year.  Businesses must look at the year objectively in marketing, finances, services, and other valuable segments.  A year-end assessment will assist you.  It should provide a starting point for next year.

A year-end business assessment analyzes the business in an objective manner.  It lays out the facts so business owners can make smart and honest strategies in the future.  Planning the future with positive or negative bias places your business in jeopardy.  Bias easily leads owners and upper management down an incorrect path.  Year-end assessments avoid this.

A year-end assessment shows more information than possible New Year’s resolutions.  A hard copy of clearly defined goals gives your company boundaries, commitment, and a chance to increase revenue.  It differs from a business plan because it breaks down your progress by year instead of an overall endgame.

For business growth planning, a year-end assessment contains:

  • Profit: Did your business meet, exceed, or under-perform on yearly projections? Did you meet net income projections after paying expenses, employee benefits, and wages?  Did you grow or decline from the previous year?  Examine what went wrong and what strategies worked.  Are problematic issues a one-time thing or ongoing?
  • Expenses: Is the business bringing in more expenses than revenue? If so, examine these expenses.  Which expenses increased in cost?  Search for deals to cut costs.
  • Staff: Speaking of employees, did the staff increase or decrease? How did it specifically affect the company? Did you lose valuable employees?
  • Marketing: Examine all campaigns. Determine what made some projects successful and what made other projects failures.
  • Product/Services: Analyze this section by category or individual product/service. What ideas worked and what didn’t? Explain the reasons for those successes and failures.  Did you add or discontinue products/services?
  • Competition: The business moved in a different direction this year, so who is your competition now? Did you gain new customers?  Did you lose customers to your competitors?  Explain the customers increase and/or decrease in detail.

The difficulties of 2015 should become a teaching lesson for the New Year.  A year-end assessment will paint a visual picture of the company’s current state.  Depending on your company, perform additional assessments such as sales/marketing and self-evaluation.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website

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