End of financial year talk is not even the tiniest bit sexy and often the one thing most business owners don’t want to talk about and dread the entire year. It doesn’t have to be like that.
There is so much power in being able to reflect on your results and take the lessons from the past so you can make smarter decisions moving forward. You would have heard someone say how important it is to ‘know your numbers’ and yet it’s one of the things most creative, heart-centered entrepreneurs avoid at all cost. It’s so boring, confusing and unmotivating. Yes, for most it is.
Yet, when you know what to look for and you’re not just looking at a boring P & L (profit and loss statement), then the numbers can show you exactly where you need to spend your time and what action steps to take to catapult your results for the future.
Yes, do your tax return, your BAS and your P & L. Yes, have a look at all your expenses and see where you can reduce these moving forward but when it comes to EOFY reflection there is so much more to consider.
This is the process I go through with my business, at the end of every financial and calendar year and I thought I would share it with you in the hope of lifting the fear and anxiety from getting to know your business better.
Once you’ve created your P & L, have a real good look at your expenses. Where could you save some dollars? Could you plan out your year more effectively so you’re not spending money on last minute decisions? This could look like, planning your marketing budget (more on this later), buying supplies you use regularly in bulk/wholesale, paying up front for subscriptions for the year rather than monthly, getting a better deal on your internet, phone, and any other fixed costs you can see that you require to run your business.
Review the services you offer and how well they sold across the year. Were there any seasonal changes, highs or lows? Were there any services on your service list that did not sell at all?
Could you simply your offering and then launch new things at seasonal times that would create excitement and new eyes. What could you learn from your sales patterns? Is it worth looking deeper and see what your commitment to each offering was, did you put marketing dollars behind each launch? If you were to do it again, how would you do it differently.
Write down every promotion, sale or offer you spend money on advertising over the year, note down what you spent in marketing dollars and what sales were generated from it.
What can you learn from this? What worked well? What would you do differently next time?
Reflect on the lead up to the launch, were there key things that you did which made the offer or promotion a success? Where did each sale come from and is that an avenue you could focus on more to attract new customers?
How are people finding your website? How are you directing them to your website? What’s working/what’s not working?
Where are people spending time on your website? What is getting the most traction? Which content created the most engagement? Make a list of key topics that worked best across your blog posts, podcasts, email newsletters, and social media posts. Could you revisit similar topics, repurpose some of the content or use the same topic but write it from a different perspective.
Where have your clients come from? Are you retaining them? Are they returning?
Do you need to get in contact with past clients to reengage them? What part of the customer journey is not being fulfilled? Do you need to make improvements or add something to your service offering? Could you create something so they can continue to work with you?
Where did you show up? Where have you been you sending your time and has it been fruitful.
Write down all your daily and weekly activities and see what is generating the best results. Could you be adjusting where you’re spending your time for better results?
Now spend some time to reflect on your personal productivity and effectiveness over the past year.
Where could you be spending your time to catapult your results? What was your commitment level for the past year? Where did you hold yourself back? Set some clear goals on how you would like to show up for yourself and your business for the next half of the year.
Take some time to reflect on all the results you’ve just analyzed. Were there some ah-ha moments, realizations as to why you’re getting the results you’re getting? Can you see clearly now where you need to spend your time and what would be beneficial moving forward?
There is so much power in the numbers! If you are still feeling anxious or confused, it might be time to invest in some further support so you can start working smarter not harder. Each year, your business should be growing and expanding, and that all is reliant on what decisions and steps were taken throughout the year.
Taking the time to do this exercise will set you up for a powerful second half of 2019! End the year off strong and empower yourself to take the data and use it to it’s fullest potential and take your business to the next level!