Finishing the Business Year on a High as a Business Owner
by The Alternative Board (UK)
We all want to end the business year on a high. It gives us the encouragement to say ‘bring it on’ to the one that is coming. Of course, this year, it might feel impossible to feel positive due to the escalating situation with the Omicron variant. However, when thinking about our businesses, we can still endeavour to end the year in a good place.
Inc.com notes that many owners and leaders find themselves in a ‘last minute scrabble’ at year-end. They provide four things every business owner should think about doing at the end of the year and earlier this month, we shared six ways that business leaders can thrive this Christmas. All these tips and tricks are great, and now we’re going a little bit deeper.
Members of The Alternative Board (TAB) do finish the business year on a high. Time and time again, we’ve seen them empowered to face the year ahead, and we want the same for you too. So, we’ve put together this guide on two things to do before the end of the year to finish on a high.
How do business owners who work with TAB finish the year on a high?
For the last month or so, our TAB facilitators have been working through some specific activities with their members (business owners and leaders). We call this the Year-End Sequence, which is designed to get business owners to refocus on their accomplishments from the last year and then look forward to the next. It allows leaders to celebrate their successes, understand more about themselves as a leader, and more about their businesses and what opportunities and challenges they may be facing next year.
Below we go through two things from our year-end sequence which will hopefully help you to end the business year well.
Two Things to Do Before the End of the Year
We recommend doing the following before the end of the year to get you and your business in a good place for the start of 2022.
1.Review the year that has passed
As a starting point, you need to reflect on the business goals you had for the start of 2021. What have you achieved and what haven’t you managed?
Once you’ve reflected on this, we encourage you to answer these questions:
- List 3 things that have delivered improvement in the year
- Write down 3 things that have disappointed you in the year
- List 3 things you’ve achieved this year
- Top 3 risks your business now faces
- How has your role as leader changed this year, and what do you want it to be next year?
- What have you learnt about yourself this year?
By working on these questions, you can see how things have changed this year and therefore apply these to your goals and objectives. Do any of them need tweaking after considering your answers? Is what you wanted at the start of 2021, the same as the end?
2. Strategic Plan
If you haven’t done so already, start writing a plan.
Based on the answers to the questions above, start going through the following sections.
If writing an annual plan seems too much right now given uncertainty, start with the next 4-6 months, or even the first 90 days. And then repeat the process.
Reflect on your personal vision
Why did you start your business in the first place? What personal goals were you looking to meet?
When starting your annual plan, reflect on whether you have met those goals or whether because of the year we have had, you can adjust your working lifestyle so you can meet them. As an example, one of our TAB members in Leeds had a personal vision of living in the countryside. Before COVID, this vision had been delayed due to the need to be near the city where his business was based. Along came the pandemic and the owner realised because of the strength of the communication platforms available to us, he could still run his business and move to the countryside.
Is there anything in your personal vision that could be achieved in 2022 because of the results of the pandemic? Meeting your personal goals will in turn help you to feel more positive and run a better business.
Next, look at the business
Using the same mindset, go through the following list and compare your goals in these areas to the goals you had for last year. To deliver your business goals and company vision, how can you adapt, pivot or re-align your business direction in these areas?
- Target Market – How can you seize new opportunities?
- Existing customers
- Employees & culture - The pandemic has redefined the workplace. Begin by assessing your business practices and identifying areas of improvement and opportunity. You also need to think about how your company culture will change in the year ahead. What will you put in place to re-emphasise your values in this now-virtual world? Have your core values changed?
- Quality & Efficiency
By deep-diving into your strategic plan, after considering the previous year, you will go into 2022 with a stronger and clearer idea of where your business is going. Don’t forget to also present your plan to your team - we recommend getting them involved in the process for maximum buy-in!
Hear the thoughts of our members who end the business year well through TAB:
- “The review of the Year in December allows us to put the year behind us and really focus on next year”
- “It allows us to pause for breath and focus on what’s really important”
- “We learn from our mistakes in a more thought-provoking way”
- “If we didn’t work through the year-end review and start of year planning sequence as part of our TAB membership, we wouldn’t do it otherwise.”
- “Reflecting on what has and hasn’t worked makes the plan far more effective.”
- “It helps us to break next year’s plan into manageable steps”
How could you benefit from TAB in 2022?
We don’t just support and empower business owners at the end of the year, but all year round. In 2022, start making better and quicker decisions through the practical, real-world advice from other successful business owners, like you, who sit on our advisory boards. Not only will this improve your leadership skills, but it will also facilitate your business and personal growth. Additionally, it’s a chance to give back by offering your expertise to help others to grow too!
Whatever challenge you are facing, we’ll have seen it before. We operate in 23 countries worldwide and are currently adding value to the businesses of over 400 leaders in the UK alone.
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