Remember your New Year’s resolutions for your business? Maybe you had a detailed plan in place for your budget or your operations. Maybe you were going to invest more effort into your content creation or make your office a model of efficiency.
If you’re like many business leaders, you may have hit a few home runs while letting some of your new, good habits fall by the wayside. Ideas you implemented may not have worked out the way you thought, and some goals might have simply been too hard or too expensive to implement.
Rather than waiting until the end of the year and starting over with the next iteration of changes, take time for a midyear review to see where you are now so that you can redirect as needed and position yourself for a strong second half of 2023. As a bonus, you’ll also ensure that your 2024 New Year’s resolutions are better informed and more meaningful.
Begin with a self-evaluation
Take some time to look inward first—make sure that you are fully engaged with your business and ready to participate in
the process of implementing a midyear check-in. This may mean that you need to spend some uninterrupted, focused time contemplating. Be honest with yourself about your level of involvement in the day-to-day of your business, get feedback from your team, or work with a mentor or advisor. Do what you need to do to put a successful process in place.
Review your previous goals
Look back at the goals you set for yourself earlier in the year. How successful were you in putting them into practice in a meaningful way? If you’ve struggled with your goals, it can be helpful to figure out if the problem lies with the goals themselves or their implementation. Do some digging to determine what went wrong so you can better understand how to plan for the future.
Monitor your finances
Do you have the money you need to meet your responsibilities for the next six months? If not, do you have options in mind to increase your cash flow, or do you need to put new financial strategies in place? As much of what will happen in the months ahead will hinge on your financial picture, be sure that you have a thorough understanding of it from the beginning.
Review your tax payments
Make sure you are caught up with your quarterly tax payments. If your tax attorney filed an extension that delayed your tax filing until October, you could have a large tax payment due. It’s critical to ensure that your taxes are under control; if they’re not, make plans so that they’re properly set up for next year.
Look at your industry
Are there changes in the industry that could be affecting your business, either now or in the next six months?
If you need to update your planning based on industry changes, consider focusing on one of the following:
- Reducing costs
- Increasing marketing
- Changing your product or service in some way
- Expanding your market geographically
- Expanding into a new market niche
- Expanding your product line or service offerings
It doesn’t take long to fall behind in the face of a big shift in your industry, whether it’s an innovation, a new competitor, a market slowdown, or a response to an economic downturn. Make sure that you are keeping an eye on how your business is responding to the broader forces at work.
Review your current content
At least every six months, someone in your organization should be reviewing your content, both online and offline. Whether it’s your website, social media, printed marketing materials, video content, or other items, it’s essential to make sure that contact information is accurate and that you’re presenting your best face to potential clients and colleagues.
Assess your marketing budget
Take a look at the marketing you’ve been doing to see what’s been working and what hasn’t. Now is the time to assess your marketing budget and redistribute based on what has been effective. If nothing seems to have been effective, or if it’s too soon to tell what is working, you may want to dig deeper and make sure that you are measuring the right analytics for the relevant channels and assessing them on a more frequent basis.
Reevaluate your KPIs
If you decide that you’re not getting enough information to determine what’s working in your business and what’s not, make sure that you are developing and evaluating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) KPIs.
- Is the information specific enough?
- Can I tell whether I am making measurable progress toward my goal?
- Is it possible for me to attain my goal in the time allotted and with the resources provided?
- How is my goal relevant to my business?
- What is the time frame for achieving this goal?
Be fearless in assessing problems
Taking a long, hard look in the mirror to analyze yourself and your business can be intimidating. It’s often easier to gloss over small problems—which allows them to become big ones. Your best friend in this process is rigorous honesty with yourself and your advisors. That will allow you to face up to your needs so that you can meet challenges head-on before they become insurmountable obstacles.
Communicate with your team
Once you’ve done the work, it’s time to share your findings with the appropriate members of your team. Maybe the results will become part of their midyear performance reviews. In certain cases, you may find that you’ll need to make some staffing changes.
Clear communication that’s positive and action oriented is inspiring. Avoid placing blame, and ensure that you’re providing the tools your team needs to succeed as they embark on implementing improvements for the second half of
Take Action: Don’t feel like it’s all on you to navigate the rest of the year. Bring in the help that you need, whether it’s an attorney, a financial planner, or an expert, to help with your marketing or operational management.