Do You Have a New Year Business Review?

Just as we have personal New Year’s Resolutions, so should you for your business. Since January is the start of another year, I wanted to try to get the year off to a good start. So I asked several CEO’s of successful companies what they do in their businesses. Almost unanimously, they do these 5 things both personally and with their teams. What about you?

1. Perform an Annual Postmortem – After every game, a good football coach will watch the game films to review the action and it’s good practice in business as well. Make a list of all the things that went right in 2017. Next, list all the things that went wrong in 2017. Now list ways to make the things that went right keep on going right and list ideas on ways to mitigate those things that went wrong if possible. 

2. Set 2018 Priorities - Once you’ve completed your post mortem for the year, should be able to identify several things that you should continue to do or do more of. Sometimes during the prior year review you may come up with some new ideas, products or services to try going forward. Since it’s impossible to focus on everything at once, setting priorities helps to keep you and your team focused on what’s important. Make sure you capture these priorities and use them to craft your business plan for the year. 

3. Come Up With a Stop List – Make a list of things that you will stop doing in 2018. This is harder than it sounds. Often what needs to be stopped is a pet project, a beloved customer or a new location that you invested heavily in but just never took off. Not wasting energy and resources on things on your stop list will allow you to focus even more on your priorities. 

4. Surround yourself with good people – January is a good time to really take a hard look at your employees in an objective way. Surrounding yourself with positive people who contribute positively to the organization is critical. Letting go of an employee that just doesn’t seem to perform or is simply disruptive or hard to manage is a very tough thing to do. And with a tight labor market and shrinking talent pool makes it doubly hard. However, once that person is gone you may kick yourself for not doing it sooner.  

5. Personal Development – The business landscape changes fast and it’s important to keep your skills relevant. Make it a point to schedule some personal development in the coming year either for skill building or just pleasure. Learning new skills keeps our minds sharp

Performing an annual business post mortem is a great idea. And, I think you can use these same tasks in your personal life as well.