Usually around the end of November or early December, I like to share a few areas of my business that I’ve learned from and are focused on going in to the New Year. As my business evolves, so do different aspects of the business. Some aspects may have not been as necessary in the past to spend energy on where others have been pertinent at the time. The end of the year is the perfect time to carve out time to reflect on the last 12 months and set-up your action and goal plan for the coming year.Here are three areas of my business that I’m reflecting on this year and will be a focus going in to 2017. I’d love to hear what you’re focused on this year; post in the comment section below!
1. Assess and analyze where I’m spending my time. As a business owner and entrepreneur, there are several hats to wear. However, it can be easy to get caught up in tasks that aren’t where my time and energy is best spent. For every task I write on my calendar or to-do list, I ask myself:
- Is this a task one that I (and only I) should be completing or is this something I should be training and delegating out?
- Based on how much I value my time (actually put an hourly dollar amount on your time as you do with any other staff member), would my business be overpaying to have this task completed by me? Or do I need to find someone who can do this task for less so I can focus my time on higher-value tasks.
- Is this a task that someone else can do just as well as I can, or even better and more efficiently?
2. Review the previous year’s return on investment of major marketing efforts and programs. Before I create my 2017 marketing, event and program calendar, I need to carefully analyze what worked and what didn’t in 2016. I’ll replicate what worked and nix or tweak everything else. Over time, I’ve found that this is a valuable exercise because it takes out the guessing game of scheduling which programs/offers to offer and how to market them and creates a simpler template for your annual marketing and planning.
3. Reflect on what I’m enjoying and what I’m not. Critical to long-term, sustainable success is continually doing what you enjoy. I periodically ask myself if what I’m doing, or different aspects of what I do, is still as exciting as it once was. If I’m lacking motivation, I need to acknowledge it, figure out how to shift it to either make it exciting for me again or move it to someone else who will be excited about it. As our businesses continually evolve, so do we!
As in fitness, failing to plan is planning to fail; taking the time to reflect on the last year and plan the next 12 months is time well spent to set your business up for success.