As some of grapple with end of the year blues, stirred by unfulfilled expectations and New Year’s resolutions that never were, others of us are excitedly wrapping up the year as we recognize and celebrate all that we have managed achieve. For some of us, 2016 was the year where we hustled like never before, the year defined by the realization and actualization of our dreams, whilst for others of us, 2016 remains the bridge and training ground for what lies ahead in the year to come.
For entrepreneurs and all business owners alike, the moments before the year ends carry a magnitude of great importance. As the beginning of a new year carries great symbolic power not only to individuals, but also to businesses, there is a need for all businesses to take seriously these last few minutes before the curtains fall, and the 2016 show comes to an end.
As you wrap up and consider all that which your business has accomplished, all that which it has tried and retried, all that which it has learned, all that which it has grown and outgrown, and all that which it hopes to accomplish in the year ahead, here is a list of “5 Things All Businesses Should Do Before 2016 Ends.”
Generally reflect on the year that was!
Before getting into the “end-of-the-year” technical “TO-DO” of your business, what I mean by “generally reflect on the year that was” is that every business should spend some time reflecting, pondering, and generally considering how the year went. From a meditative and relaxed space, generally ask and discuss, what did the business achieve? What were the driving mechanisms for the business during that year? What worked? What did not work? Were the goals of the business met? What were the results? How does everyone in the team feel about that? Starting from this general meditative and reflective line of thought on how the year was, will guarantee an awareness about your business, as you move ahead with a bang!
Thank your clients and referral sources!
Your business is what it is because of the people who believe in it and who continuously support it. It is through the strong relationships that you build with your clients that you can grow your business, as it is far easier to get additional business from an existing client, than it is to find a new one. Before the calendar turns, take the time to thank those individuals who have been a part of your success, and also those individuals who have contributed to growing your business family through referrals. Send them personalized cards, messages, small gifts, or offer them a discount for future goods or services.
Review and revitalize your marketing plan!
MARKETING! We hate to do it, but we LOVE the business results that it produces. Marketing is by far the most important tool for any growing business. Before moving forward into the New Year, take sometime to look through your marketing strategies and mark the ones that that were most effective and the ones that were a total flop. Brainstorm where you can improve marketing performance and as you review, keep in mind such factors generation, initial investment, return on investment and total number of sales generated or total number of client relationships made. In case you need to strengthen your marketing strategy in the coming year, check these tips out and also these ones! Good stuff.
Review your business processes, policies and expense schemes!
At the end of each year, it’s in the best interest of any company to look at how well their processes, policies, procedures and expense schemes worked or did not, so as to see where the company can improve. In terms of expenses, no business can be succeed if operating at a loss. Therefore, before the year comes to an end, look over your processes and policies, which are supposed to ensure that your company is consistently operating at a gain.
Set goals and deadlines for the coming year!
Last, but certainly most important in moving your business forward, set practical goals and deadlines for the coming year! Go back to back to what you shared in your general reflection, and figure out through the strengths and weaknesses of your company, what you need to do, in the coming year!
If you’re ready to start implementing the steps above, download SLA’s handy guide and use it to wrap things up properly this year. Here is to a business productive 2017!
Eleanor Khonje is PhD candidate, development consultant, public speaker and contributing writer to SLA. SLA was created to give African women the skills, resources and networks they need to take over the world. Do the right thing and join our community to find out more about how we can help you become a #Boss.