How is your business doing relative to the projections you made at the beginning of the year? Maybe you’re on a path to meet or exceed your goals. Or maybe, you have some ground to make up. In either case, there is an easy way to ensure that your business ends 2018 strong.
You may have heard the saying that a goal without a plan is just a wish. If you want to end 2018 in a strong position, it’s time to conduct a midyear review.
Goals of a midyear review
A midyear business review is a powerhouse tool. It can help you:
- Assess how well your business is doing this year
- Make changes to expenses, or allocate resources differently to improve returns
- Correct problems before they become disastrous
- Motivate and lead your team
- Sharpen your focus for the rest of the year
What does a midyear review cover?
There’s no hard-and-fast prescription for what a midyear review has to cover, so ultimately, it’s up to you. But here are some commonly reviewed aspects of a business:
- Business goals and milestones, whether they are formalized in a business plan document or not
- Financial review, including sales numbers, cash flow details, and customer accounts
- Business development/marketing review, covering lead generation and promotional activities
- Operations review, taking a look at current processes, systems, and procedures
Tips for a business-boosting midyear review
1) Don’t forget the wins
Start by identifying the things that have gone well over the previous six months. What were your most significant accomplishments? What went well?
Next, break those successes down into their component parts. What actions caused those accomplishments to happen? What lessons can you learn and apply across your business?
2) Think in quarters
In terms of business growth, people tend to overestimate the amount of progress they can make in one year – and underestimate the amount of progress that they can make in five years. There’s something about the one-year timeframe that gets people to make wildly optimistic projections – without a clear plan for how to get from A to B.
In contrast, thinking in terms of what can be done in a quarter – roughly 90 days – keeps you focused on implementation. It’s a long enough stretch of time to execute an initiative, but it’s also short enough that it prompts clear action plans and achievable milestones.
3) Focus on solutions
When you take a step back from the day-to-day rush of running your business to conduct a review, it may reveal that you’re not where you want to be. That’s okay: the first step to fixing the situation is seeing it clearly. The most important part of the review happens when you use the findings to find solutions and make changes for the better.
Need help unraveling your financial picture – and setting yourself up for growth in the second half of 2018? Let’s talk.
Joe Gibbons, CPA is managing partner of Gibbons & Gibbons, P.C., a Northern Virginia-based accounting and business advisory firm that specializes in working with law firms and other professional service providers.