An end of year audit across your business can help you find the successes and the areas in need of improvement for the coming new year. This article lays out the areas that you can go back and take a look at so that you know where your resources are being used wisely and where you might want to take a new approach. This includes the obvious things like where you are making your revenue and what your biggest costs are but also your marketing activity, social media posts, your employees satisfaction, your management team and what goals you hit or missed.
To begin, its important to take a look at your finances. If you turned a profit, what were the main reasons? Where were the successes and could you expand further in this area to dig out more revenue? This can help you to anticipate your customer’s needs and potentially diversify your offerings. If you lost money, which is not uncommon especially for a startup, what costs can you control and what products or services just didn’t sell like you thought they would? It’s important to stick with the winners and potentially divest of the losers.
All SMBs market their product in some way. This may be via the website or simply word of mouth or it could be a large marketing budget with ads and commercials across various mediums. It’s very important to know and understand where each customer came from so you should be keeping tabs on how a customer found you and what it was in your marketing that attracted them. This will allow you to again take stock of what is working and what needs some tweaking.
Social Media posts are a common and potentially large bang for your buck way to create publicity around your company. Taking note of posts that garnered a lot of attention is a great way to come up with ideas for future posts. You should also be paying attention to what your competitors are doing in this regard. The analytics behind a business’ Social Media allow you to measure real engagement and interest on the part of potenatial customers.
Employee satisfaction is a very important metric that can tell you if you are getting the most productivity out of your workforce. Ask your employees what they care about so you know how to motivate them. “How employees feel about their work and work environment is a strong barometer of your business’ well-being and future success.” Unhappy employees can have negative interactions with customers or leave for greener pastures, both of which cost you resources and business.
Part of that employee satisfaction is your management and leadership team. It’s not always easy to be an independent barometer of yourself and those closet to you that are likely carrying out directives from the boss, aka you! Formal leadership training is a key way to improve management and you should set aside time to make sure everyone that has a headcount within your company has these skills, including yourself.
Finally, go back in time 1 year, think about and look at the goals you set for the year. Where did you succeed and where did you fall short? Measure these successes in their degrees and the positive impact they have had on your company’s bottom line and working environment. Were the goals realistic? If not are they realistic to try to repeat this year? Set reasonable goals and come up with concrete and measurable ways to achieve them in the coming year.
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