Looking Back, Planning Ahead: How to Do a Year-End Review

Looking back, planning ahead, year-end review

The end of the year is almost here! It’s hard to believe 2022 is already coming to a close. If you’re running a business, this time of year can be especially busy. Whether December means a holiday sales frenzy or continuing projects for clients, it’s important to take time to perform a year-end review and plan for the new year ahead.

Are you happy with the way your business performed? How was your stress level? Are there things you could do differently to make next year better? Looking back at your year and setting goals can help you get honest about the things that are working in your business and the things that need to be improved.

How to Do a Year-End Review

Gather all the information you can about your business, including financial summaries and other KPIs. Where did your business struggle, and what successes did you see? Naming these things, both positive and negative, will help you decide which things need to change moving forward. While it may be tempting to overlook what didn’t go as planned–missing your sales goal or struggling to finish that one project, for example–glossing over negative events will only hold your business back.

It’s also important to look at your pipelines for attracting new customers or clients to find out what’s working and what could be improved. Take a look at Google Analytics on your website, and check your social media channels for growth. Did you get the clients or customers you wanted? What could help you reach more of the right people?

For detailed instructions on how to do a year-end review for your business, check out a few of our favorite resources:

Make a List of Goals

After you’ve looked at 2022, it’s time to set goals for the new year. These can be personal and professional; your goals should tell what you want to accomplish. Do you want to make it to the gym three times a week or get five new clients? How much revenue do you want your business to generate? Make a list with all your ideas, and you can pick the most important ones later. Goal-setting helps you understand what’s working in your life and your business and what needs to change.

Make a List of Intentions

Once you’ve written out your goals, make a list of your intentions. Again, you can combine personal and professional intentions here. These are generally broader and give a feeling of how you want your year to be. You may want less stress in your life or you may want to spend more time with family. You may decide you want a year of growth and moving outside your comfort zone.

Pick a Word of the Year

Once you have written out your goals and intentions, look for places where they align. If your goal is to develop better processes in your business and your intention is to have less stress, you might choose a word like, “balance” or “consistency.” If you’re looking to add more clients and become more of an expert in your field, a word like “growth” would be a great fit. If you need help finding a word you love, check out Thesaurus.com or WordHippo.

How to Use Your Word of the Year

Whatever you choose, your word of the year should be something that moves you to action, not something you think about once and forget. Put it in places you’ll see it: the lock screen of your phone, on top of your to-do list, or on your bathroom mirror (use a dry-erase marker, of course). You could even frame your word and put it on your desk at work. Keep your word in mind as you set quarterly and monthly goals. This will help you consistently make decisions that align with your yearly goals and intentions.

Focus on Growing Your Business in 2023

You have a lot to think about while running your business. When you’re reviewing the past year, take a hard look at the way you spend your time. Are you doing the things only you can do? Maybe there’s something you can outsource to help you reach your goals. 
Although it’s completely necessary for growth, marketing can be time-consuming and even confusing. Whether you need an entire marketing strategy or help with just one project, the team at SweetWater is here for you. Check out our services and give us a call at (256) 617-2092 to get started today!

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