How well did your business do this year?
Answering this question can bring up a lot of emotions, especially if things did not go as expected. You might feel the pressure of setting end-of-year deadlines. Looking back can result in guilt if we didn’t reach our goals, or anxiety about setting new ones.
Many business owners feel a tug-of-war between accomplishing daily duties AND stepping back to see the “30,000-foot view” of their company. But even though it can be really scary, doing a Year In Review is very helpful. That’s why I recommend taking time to look back at what happened using data that is quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (experiences). Once you review the results (good and bad), you reduce the risk of failure by making adjustments to your plans for the next year.
Here are six helpful resources to guide you through the process.
Resource 1: The Basics
Whether or not you find it easy to look into the future, conducting a “Year In Review” has tremendous benefits. It gives you the space to see your business objectively, by removing the emotion and instead focusing on the facts of what has occurred.
A “Year In Review” is a fairly simple process that allows you to evaluate:
- what happened (wins and failures),
- how it happened (the quantitative and qualitative results), and
- what to adjust (things to continue, things to get rid of, imagining an ideal future, set and schedule priorities).
The post How to Do a Year In Review explains how this process works. In it, I explain:
- why the Post-Mortem Evaluation is so effective,
- how to determine risk, and
- which questions to ask when looking back at the past year.
Resource 2: Why It’s Important
If you’re afraid of the repercussions of sharing your business failures, this post is for you. You will learn about:
- the psychology of our fear of failure,
- why the unknown scares us,
- underlying causes of our fear (“Imposter Syndrome” is one), and
- the benefits of sharing your business highs & lows publicly.
Resource 3: Inspiration
I didn’t come up with this concept alone. Lots of other entrepreneurs and business owners have publicly shared their successes and failures.
You can read about their stories in 31 “Year In Review” Examples to Inspire You.
Resource 4: Perspective
Once in a while, the sky opens and money seems to flow in. Other years, everything seems to fall apart.
When things do NOT go well, we tend to avoid dwelling on it… but that’s not very effective at helping us to learn and grow. By evaluating why things did NOT go well, we can recognize the root cause and make adjustments.
Watch a video that explains what you can do to make the most of a terrible year:
In What to Do If Your “Year In Review” is a Disappointment, you’ll hear about:
- the retrospective evaluation process
- what a “bad year” actually means
- how to see your leadership blind spots
- the 4 steps in a “Disappointment Reset” (look at facts, acknowledge value, decide how to adjust, make a plan)
Resources 5 & 6: A Peek Behind the Scenes
There are many sections to include in a “Year In Review.” Here are the ones I recommend using:
- A Look Back
- What Went Well (Wins)po
- What Did Not Go Well (Failures)
- What I’ll Continue
- What I’ll Do Differently
- 3 Main Lessons
- Books I Finished (check out My Honest Review of the 21 Books I Finished in 2018)
- Favorite Quote
- Word of the Year
Check out the posts from my company, LaConte Consulting:
I hope you enjoyed these resources! Have you published a Year In Review of your business? If you want, feel free to share the link below.
Interested in hearing how you can reverse a toxic workplace? Find out more here.
Grace LaConte is a business consultant, writer, workplace equity strategist, and the founder of LaConte Consulting. Her risk management tools are used around the globe, and she has successfully reversed toxic work environments for clients in the healthcare and non-profit fields. Grace specializes in lactation law compliance & policy development, reducing staff turnover after maternity leave, and creating a participatory work culture.