It's that time of year for me where I'm frantically trying to wrap up projects before the holidays. It's a crazy yet exhilarating time each year. I'm so looking forward to the time off that I use to clean my office, get my files in order and update my website. I'm also planning to spend time reviewing how my year went and making plans for 2020.
When I had a regular 9-5 and worked for someone else (not since 1997) I actually looked forward to and feared my annual review at the same time. I adored my bosses for the most part and would be afraid that I had let them down. I occasionally had something to work on, but for the most part, they were all positive. The best part was setting goals for personal growth in the coming year and seeing what I had accomplished.
As a self-employed business owner, it's important to reflect on your business overall and see what has worked and what hasn't in a given time frame. I choose to do this at the end of each year when I have time to reflect. The main areas of my business that I look back on are my business operations (systems), my client interactions, my referral partner interactions, and how I did with the goals I set for myself.
Reviewing Business Operations
- What existing systems worked well?
- What existing systems need a change?
- What new systems did I implement that were successful?
- What new systems did I implement that were not successful?
- Is there something new I should add to my systems?
- Is there something I should remove?
- Did I work too much or too little?
- Did I take enough vacation or too much?
Client Interaction Review
- Who were my favorite clients and why?
- What can I do to add more clients like my favorite clients?
- Who were my most challenging clients and why?
- Do I want to avoid clients like this in the future?
- What did I learn from my most challenging clients that can make me a better business owner?
- What jobs did I win and why?
- What jobs did I lose or pass on and why?
Referral Partner Review
- Who were my biggest referral partners?
- Did I give as much as I received?
- How can I give more referrals to my best referrals partners?
- Did I get any referrals that weren't a good fit?
- How can I better encourage referrals for my favorite client type?
- Did I meet my financial goal for the year?
- Did I charge more for new websites than I did last year?
- How many websites and redesigns did I complete?
- How many care plans did I add this year?
- How many clients signed up for care plan add ons this year?
- What trainings did I complete this year?
- How do I feel overall about my progress this year?
- What can I do next year to increase income?
- What can I do next year to challenge myself?
- What trainings to I want to complete in the next year?
These are very much tailored to my own needs but could be a good starting point for you if you haven't been doing an annual review. Is this a regular practice for you already? If so, please share what you do in our Facebook group!