We’re fast approaching the end of May, which means the end of Quarter 2 – a good time to conduct a business review. The end of the second quarter marks the halfway point to the end of the year. May and June are ideal times to take a look at your business, see your progress, and make changes.
What goals did you have for yourself and your business this year? Are you on track to achieve them? If you’ve already reached your goals or are almost there, take this time to set some new ones. You’ll be most successful by putting together a concrete plan on how to reach those goals. For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20%, list out action steps to make that goal a reality. Set daily and weekly little goals to help you reach the big ones.
If it’s looking like you’re not going to hit your goals, don’t beat yourself up. Write down what you have achieved and think about any setbacks you’ve encountered that might have impacted reaching your goals. Use any setbacks as learning opportunities. Next, examine your goals and see how they can be modified for success. Aiming to increase sales by 20% but actually increasing by 10% is still a win. If your goals are difficult but still attainable, determine what you’ll need to do to reach them.
The end of the second quarter is also a good time to review your budget. Take the opportunity to look at your books and schedule a meeting with your bookkeeper or accountant, if necessary. Determine where you’re staying on track and where you’re exceeding the budget. If you’re over budget, figure out where you can cut back. Are there recurring expenses or subscriptions that can be eliminated? Perhaps there’s a software or service you’re not utilizing to its full potential? Are you paying two people or vendors for something that can be consolidated into one?
Looking at your budget and books should be done frequently to ensure financial success. Even if you outsource your bookkeeping, it’s important to know and understand your business finances. Maintaining awareness will help you make smart financial choices for your business and help you locate areas that need attention.
If you’re a one-person operation, now is an ideal time to determine if you can benefit from some outside help. Finding yourself constantly stretched too thin isn’t going to pay off in the long run for your business. Determine if you need to add part-time or full-time staff or a personal or virtual business assistant. Wondering how an assistant can help? Below are links to our services.
Businesses with a team in place should make a habit of conducting performance reviews. It doesn’t have to be too formal, but make sure you’re communicating with your team on their performance, expectations, growth, etc. The end of the second quarter and the end of the year are good times to do these evaluations. Your team might even be able to give you valuable feedback that is helpful to the growth of your business.
Products and Services
Part of your midyear evaluation should also include your products and services offerings. Look at your sales and determine which ones are your money makers and which ones aren’t. For products or services that are generating the most revenue, see if its feasible and makes sense to increase that offering. If there’s a particular product or service that isn’t bringing in cash, try to figure out why. Do you need to increase your marketing on it? Does it need a price adjustment? Or maybe just don’t offer it at all.
Halfway into the year, you likely have an idea of what processes are working and which ones need an overhaul. Listening to team feedback can be key for figuring out streamlined processes. If there’s a process or area of your business that is a consistent stressor or needlessly time-consuming, consider how to improve it. Utilize the internet and networking groups to gather ideas. Industry-specific groups on social media, for example, are often useful feedback forums. Business owners can ask about software/app recommendations, pricing strategies, process protocols, and more.
Figuring out ways to streamline your business and creating established processes will pay off as you grow. We recommend creating a manual to store company policies, procedures, and processes. This will help keep your organized and serve as a go-to reference.
When it comes to reviewing your business, it can be difficult to recognize and accept that change is needed. Implementing a new way of doing things or shifting your original plan is often overwhelming. Setting aside time once or twice per year to evaluate your business and make any necessary changes should make it more manageable. Set yourself up for success- add the review to the calendar and prepare for it by pulling any necessary reports, scheduling team meetings, gathering feedback, and taking notes during the year.