Until this year, my habit has always been to set aside time between Christmas and New Year to conduct an annual review and work on my plans for the year ahead. I started this habit back in 2007 when this was the only time as a CEO working 12 hour days that I could guarantee I’d be undisturbed. I regarded this time as sacrosanct and very much looked forward to putting together my annual life plan. (As a CEO I did a full business plan review in January when I started the budget setting process for the coming financial year which ran from April to March).
This year I decided that this habit no longer fits with my business planning cycle which runs from January to December. So at the beginning of November I took myself off to my local café to carry out my own annual review and work through the questions below. If you’d like to go through the same exercise, I recommend you gather up your diary, journal, notepad and paper and settle down with a cuppa (and perhaps a piece of cake) for an hour or so and ask yourself these 9 questions.
- If the last year were a film or book of your business, what type would it be? Drama, thriller, mystery, comedy, tragedy, or a combination? What type of film or book would you like it to be in 2016? Does it have a title?
- What were the two or three major recurring themes of 2015? Are these themes that have been present in previous years?
- What did you accomplish this year that you are the most proud of? As entrepreneurs we don’t always give ourselves enough credit for our accomplishments so go on and list as many accomplishments as you can.
- What disappointments or regrets did you have this year? As entrepreneurs, we naturally have high expectations of ourselves and others. Where did you let yourself down? Where did you let others down?
- What was missing from your business in 2015? Look at each major area of your business. Your strategic plan, financial plan, strategy for managing risks, brand, marketing processes, sales systems, customer service, communications and how well you took care of yourself. Don’t worry about having to take action on your list. Simply make a note of the aspects you’d like to improve.
- What were the major business lessons you learned this last year?
- Are you hanging out with the right people? Are you building the right network to help you move your business forward?
- Has your business enabled you to live your ‘why’ in 2015?
- Are you enjoying the journey? If not, what would make it more enjoyable?
It took me about an hour to go through this exercise. These 9 questions gave me a number of valuable insights which I’ve been using to help me to plot my business plan for 2016. I’ll be sharing my results in a future blog post so that you get to take a peek behind the scenes of my business.
Interested In Working With Me?
I have just 1 spot available for 1:1 coaching in the New Year… … BUT I am taking applications for the Mastermind Group I’ll be co-leading in the New Year with sales and marketing experts, Emma D’Arcy and Christina Jones. We’ve got some awesome people on board already and we’re just 5 days into our launch process. If you’d like a sneak peak inside our Mastermind Group, hop over HERE and take a look or alternatively you can request a prospectus HERE.
Will 2016 be the year you look back at as the one that transformed your business and took it to the next level?
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