Half-way through the year, and it’s time to track your progress against the goals you set out in your annual plan. I made an easy-to-use Business Review Worksheet to make it easy on you!
We’re well into June!
People often react surprised when I tell them that, for us down-under, June means Winter with a capital W. here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, it’s also the time when we celebrate Matariki.
Matariki is the Māori New Year. It’s named after the constellation that becomes visible in the night sky around this time of the year. Traditionally, it’s a time for Māori to spend time with family and reflect on the year gone past, but also the year ahead.
Because I do my business planning for the year in January, this is also the perfect time to reflect on my progress in business goals. We’ve been through plenty of the other steps of my annual planning, so as a natural follow up, I thought I’d share how I do my mid-year business review. After all, it’s an important step.
Most people I know start their business year in January, but if you do it differently, the same process applies, just at a different time of the year.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
The 6 Month Business Review Worksheet
Before we get started with the half year business review, I want you to do two things:
- I want you to download and print out the 6 Month Business Review Worksheet. You can find it HERE.
- The second thing may require a little bit of planning: I want you to remove yourself from the space you usually work in for a couple of hours. Find a different environment that is quiet and relaxed so you can calmly reflect. Hire a hotel room and pamper yourself if that’s what it takes.
If you want to, you can progress through the podcast while you work your way through the worksheet, and pause as you answer each question.
Now let’s get to business with the questions from my 6 Month Review Worksheet.
Celebrate The Wins
Think about your big accomplishments, but also about the micro-wins.
We’re only halfway through the year, and it’s unlikely you’ve already accomplished all the goals you set out for the year yet. BUT you CAN celebrate the victories and the progress.
Don’t forget to include where you’ve done well in the work-life balance department.
Celebrate how your business is serving you and your life. Celebrate the things you get to do because of your business.
Write everything down on your 6 Month Business Review Worksheet.
Annual Goal Tracking
Next page in the Business Review Worksheet. This one is about the goals you set out at the start of the year.
- Whether it is 1 or 5 goals, put them down on paper.
- To the right of your goal, state if you have achieved this goal (this is a very black and white question).
- Next, say why or why not? Think about what you did to get to this outcome? What worked and didn’t work in (not) achieving that goal? Do this for all the goals you set yourself.
Just write down what pops into your head. Don’t analyse; don’t let your mind interfere. Right now we’re JUST reflecting and putting it to be paper. We’ll come back to this in the planning stage when it’s time to decide about the action we want to take.
Track Your Progress With The Key Metrics
This is data at its purest. This page of the Business Review Worksheet relates directly to the growth of your business.
You should already track the key metrics in your business, so they shouldn’t be hard to answer. (I track these metrics every week on Monday.com, my project management tool. If you’re not already doing this, get in contact. I’ll help you set up during one of my VIP days.)
In this section, there are a few blank boxes. In each blank box, write your key metric.
New Leads : This box wants to know how many people you spoke to that asked for a quote or proposal.
Conversions: How many of these new leads have resulted in a conversion?
New subscribers to your email list. Look at the difference in subscribers between December and June.
Next on the Business Review Worksheet is profitability.
Obviously, you want your business to be profitable. You often hear business owners talk about the revenue they turn over in their business, but revenue and profit are two different things. It’s entirely possible to turn over a large revenue, but make a small profit!
To calculate profit, you need to know the revenue you have generated and also your expenses month by month. (You’ll find these in your accounting system)
Put in a formula, this becomes:
Revenue – Expenses = Profit (Don’t worry about taxes for this exercise.)
I like to calculate profit month by month because it not only tells you if your business is growing but also if it’s consistent.
Reflect on Revenue and Profit
Back to revenue and profit.
After we looked at the hard core data, you now need to think about what is selling and what is not? (I have my accounting system (Xero) set up so I can easily see the revenue for each product. If you haven’t done this yet, it may be something to consider for the future. )
In my business, I focus on the top 3 products.
Do a comparison. What was the revenue goal you set for the year? Then look at the actual revenue for the last 6 months. Are you on track?
Next, do the same for your profit goal.
Marketing Activity Assessment
We don’t always think about it that way, but marketing has a direct correlation with our business income.
This last step in our mid-year business review is the preparation for the planning phase. Just like I said earlier, don’t over-analyse. Just try to see the general picture that is forming.
This part of the Business Review Worksheet has 4 boxes. In each of these boxes go the different phases of your marketing activity:
- Attract : We introduce ourselves. Often this is as a guest on a podcast, as a public speaker, or with advertising.
- Engage: In return for an email address, we offer a small product. Often this is a freebie or something at low cost we offer to whet the appetite for our business.
- Nurture: This stage is aimed at establishing authority and credibility with regular content like a blog, a podcast, or Social Media content.
- Sell: This is the home-run where we invite people to work with us or buy one of our products.
Keep it matter-of-factly and don’t go too deep on this.
Then, reflect on what you’ve documented so far in your company mid-year review. Check the earlier key metrics against your marketing activity. Do the numbers marry up? Do they make sense? And do we need to adjust or fine-tune?
Next, let’s talk KISS!
Planning Action After You Finished The Half Year Business Review
You’ve probably heard me mentioning this before. I’m a KISS-fan. It’s a great way to decide on how to move forward after you finished measuring progress for the first half of the year.
These are the questions I consider:
- Keep: What are you keeping in your plan that helped you move forward
- Improve: How could you do things differently so your business could perform even better?
- Stop: What held you back? What do you need to stop doing?
- Start: What are the things you need to add or start that are going to help you? (This could be a new hire, a new product, or implementing a new system. Just consider that adding things usually also adds to the workload.)
THERE YOU GO! YOU DID IT!
If you’re just reading through this, it all may sound a bit fluffy, but I promise that once you do it, your instinct will kick in and you will KNOW what to do next!
Me? I’m cheering you on every step of the way!
And of course, if you get stuck, or you realise you can do with some help, get in touch! It doesn’t matter if you want guidance on how to make an annual plan, or whether you want me to introduce you to Monday.com. I’m your gal!