The end of 2012 is quickly approaching and while businesses tend to slow down this time of year, many business owners are using the time for reflections and projections. Being able to look back over this year to reflect on the “good, bad, and ugly” of the business can give you a head start on how to plan for the upcoming year. As for our team at The Strategic CFO in Houston, TX, we take this opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and disappointments of this year so that we can move forward into the next year goal-oriented and focused. Have you started your end of the year reflections?
The Time for Reflections and Projections
Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article I read that includes some entrepreneur must-dos that will help you along.
All year long you’ve been in frantic motion. You’ve put out fires, solved employee snafus and issues, juggled conflicting priorities, fielded exhausting back-to-back meetings, telephone calls, and endless emails. You have motivated yourself and others and kept blocking and tackling month after month by leading and managing your company toward achieving the objectives and goals you set. In other words, it’s been a typical year in the life of a small business owner, and, suddenly, December is here, and 2013 is right around the corner. And according to Bill McBean, author of the new book The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t, with a little focused thought, the last month of 2012 can also be the most valuable one.
“Sometimes the business world pauses to catch its breath in December,” says McBean. “This may or may not be true in your industry or company. But either way, you owe it to yourself, your customers, your employees, and your future to tear yourself away from the daily grind long enough to do some end-of-the-year or early-next-year reflection and forward planning.”
Typically, entrepreneurs and small business owners have trouble seeing above the action and the dust it creates. But maintaining a cool and measured perspective on where you are, where you’re headed, and—most importantly—exactly what you need to do to get there is crucial to next year’s success.
Questions to Ask
Along with the “must-dos” cited in the article, consider the following questions when reflecting on the past year and planning for the next:
- What did I learn?
- What unfinished business do I take into the new year?
- Where did I meet the targets I set for my company and where did we fall short?
- What does success in 2013 look like?
- What steps do I need to take to increase the probability of success?