Over the Christmas and New Year period we are inundated with hints, suggestions and cajoling about this being ‘a great time to reflect on the year just gone and plan ahead’. But, in practice, how many of us do an effective ‘review and plan’ and, most importantly, make any changes as a result?
For some, this is a regular, structured event, while, for others, it’s a sporadic ‘quick chat with myself’. And some business owners simply don’t find the time for a business review.
Ten minutes is all you need
If you didn’t get or make the opportunity for a business review, it’s not too late. Take ten minutes over your next cup of tea or coffee to jot down:
• Three things from last year that went well
• Three things that could have gone better
• One thing that was missing last year
• Three things to improve or introduce this year
Ten minutes, ten points and the start of your plan for the year ahead.
Having done this exercise, what was your overall conclusion?
Are you happy with the business, where it’s going and your ability to fulfil your ambitions? If this is the case, keep going but also keep an eye out for opportunities to make it even better. Chances are, however, that you have unearthed some things – whether big or small – that you’d like to change.
Are there small changes that you would like to make to improve your leadership and your business performance? Consistently aiming to improve, and encouraging your team to do likewise, is an incredibly effective way of making progress during a year. The cumulative effect of many small changes, which are often easier, quicker and cheaper to implement, can be as transformative as a single big initiative. Furthermore, the ‘habit’ of seeking and making improvements is invaluable to any business.
Or you may have concluded that a major change is needed, either due to finding a new opportunity or because things have not gone so well recently. The change you need may not be clear and may require some planning and support to identify the best course of action and how to put it into effect. Working with someone who can generate ideas, bring structure and provide the focus for change may be the best decision you can take right now.
Perhaps the major change you are seeking is because you have had enough of running the business or at least want to get to a position where you have the option of releasing yourself from it. That ‘release’ can come in the form of getting some or all of your time back and/or releasing the financial value you have accumulated in the business. Exit planning of whatever form takes some work and really benefits from the expertise of a business adviser.
So what are your plans for the year ahead? Tell us about the changes you’d like to make in 2019 and discover how Henchards can help you get there.