An end of year review is not only a valuable tool for personal development, but it’s also essential for the growth of your business.

Reflecting and planning in your business with an end of year review can help you learn from your mistakes, celebrate your progress, and lead to increased creativity, energy, and motivation for the year ahead.

And that’s why we invited Cynthia Dauterstedt into our community to share her business expertise with us and help guide us in setting up an end of year review for our therapy businesses.

Cynthia is a certified Business and Purpose Coach with more than ten years of experience in business development and marketing, and she’s such a great source of knowledge for business owners that we’ve invited her to speak in the LIT Community on several occasions.

In this blog article, we will share the main takeaways from her talk. This blog article will provide some helpful questions that will assist you in reviewing the last year and planning for the following, including a section on one aspect that often gets ignored with an end of year review: financial review and planning!

Why is reflecting and planning in your business so important?

Reflecting and planning are potent and essential tools for business owners. They help you organize your thoughts to clarify better what you are trying to achieve.

Reflecting on the past year will help you understand what has gone well and what hasn’t, allowing you to make better choices in the future.

Scheduling time at regular intervals to reflect on your business will amplify your progress and highlight your flaws (which can be tough but is an essential part of growing as a business owner).

Photo by Yuroslav Shuraev

End of Year Review: 7 Steps to Review the Business Path Behind You

The first step in your end of year review is to look back and take stock of what’s happened in the past year (or longer) of your business. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

1 – Your Status Quo – How happy are you with where you are in your business right now on a scale from 1 to 10? Analyze this number: What made you choose it? What would need to change in your business to select a higher number?

2 – The Big Picture – Think about the early days of your business and how much it has evolved since then. Remind yourself why you started this journey. Where were you trying to get with it? Are you still on the right path toward your goals?

3 – Reflecting on your past year – What were your failures? Your mistakes? Your missed goals? What was successful? What goals did you reach?

4 – Your Mission Statement – Did you stick to it? Has it changed?

A mission statement is a written statement of your business mission: What do you want to do? How do you want to do it? Who is your ideal client/customer? Ideally, you want to come up with it at the beginning of your career, but it’s never too late to create one!

5 – Your Business Vision – Are there any changes?

Your Business Vision focuses on the vision you have for your business. How would you like your business to look five years from now? What’s the goal? This can also include personal details such as where you want to live, financial freedoms you would like to have, etc.

6 – The numbers – Create an overview of all your business expenses. How much did you spend this year on tools, outsourcing, etc.? How much net income do you make?

7 – The frustrations – Is there anything in your business that frustrates you? What is it? A great way to figure out what is bothering you the most is a “frustration tracker” – every time you feel frustration, write down its source. Is it a specific recurring task, or maybe a client? How can you get rid of this frustration? Maybe hire a virtual assistant or an online business manager to do those frustrating tasks for you. Or consider letting go of a client if they’re a constant source of frustration.

End of Year Review: 5 Steps to Planning The Business Path in Front of You

Next, you’ll need to plan for the future of your business in the year(s) to come. So, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you plan effectively!

1 – A business vision: Create a new business vision for the following years. Be specific: The revenue, the profit, where you are located, your surroundings, what kind of people are involved etc. Dream Big! In the LIT Community, we believe everyone deserves to live the life they desire. We have a whole article on our blog on why it’s essential to dream big and how to identify your dream lifestyle and business.

2 – The gaps: Identify the gaps between where you are now and your future vision. What is missing in your business and life?

3 – Close the gaps: How can you close the gaps? How can you get closer to your business vision? Develop a project plan for the next 12 months and divide it into monthly or weekly steps. What can you do this week to get started on this plan?

4 – Focus on one project: Choose one thing you want to achieve or create in the next year. Come up with a specific plan for this one thing. It’s nearly impossible to develop a detailed project plan for more than one thing.

5 – Your numbers: Have a look at your business numbers. Try keeping emotion out of it and simply look at what is going in and out. Keeping emotions out of money matters will help you make more rational decisions. 

Photo by AndreyPopov on Getty Images

Helpful Tools for Financial Planning

There are a few essential tools for financial planning in your business. You’ll need:

  • A finance plan including a table of expenses, a table of revenues, and a table of revenue per client/per product/per service

  • An analysis of your clients/products’ profit margin and after-tax profit. This will give you insight into what your most profitable product is or who your most profitable client is.

  • One separate table of the monthly revenue you plan to receive for the product or the service you are offering.

  • A strategy paper where you write down learnings you might have gotten through looking at your numbers to come up with steps to take action.

Now that you’ve gone through the process of conducting your end of year review, make sure you take the time to celebrate everything you’ve accomplished! 

In the LIT Community, we know how important it is to regularly reflect and plan for our businesses and also how helpful it is to regularly celebrate our wins! We have weekly and monthly live online events set up to help our members with that process.

If you’re interested in having this kind of support as you start (or grow) your online practice, sign up for our waitlist to become a part of our community.

If you’re interested in learning more about Cynthia and the coaching she offers, you can connect with her on her website, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

Have you done any reflection practices for your business recently? And how have they benefited you?

Let us know below – we’d love to hear from you!

Photo by AndreyPopov on Getty Images

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