Digitally She Does It Podcast

EPISODE 72: Setting yourself up for success in 2024

December 20, 2023 Karen Davies Season 1 Episode 72
Digitally She Does It Podcast
EPISODE 72: Setting yourself up for success in 2024
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I dive into the crucial topic of how to conduct an effective end-of-year review for your business. As we approach the end of the year, it's the perfect time to reflect on your business's performance, identify areas for improvement, and set the stage for a successful year ahead. 

In this episode, I provide 10 practical steps to guide you through this process. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, these steps will equip you with the tools to conduct a comprehensive end-of-year business review effectively.

So, if you're ready to take your business to the next level then tune into this episode of the Digitally She Does It podcast.

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Karen Davies [00:00:00]:

Hello, and welcome to the Digitally She Does It Show. This is episode 72. And in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about how to carry out an end of year review in your business. So let's jump right in, and let's get started. Welcome to the Digitally. She does it show. I'm your host, Karen, and I'm here to lift the lid on what it actually takes to create a successful business. If you are an ambitious creative ready to build a business on your own and without compromise, and this podcast is perfect for you.

Karen Davies [00:00:40]:

With my award winning approach to marketing and expert knowledge in creating online courses, this show will leave you feeling inspired, energized, and ready to bring those big dreams to life. Join me each week for a dose of motivation marketing know how along with actionable step by step strategies to help you accelerate your businesses' growth. So let's dive within and don't forget to subscribe to all my upcoming episodes which drop every Wednesday. Hello, and welcome. Thank you for joining me today. I am your host, Karen, and I really appreciate you hitting the play button to listen to today's so in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about how to carry out an end of year review in your business. Because at the time of this recording, we are just over 2 weeks away from the end of the year, and so I think it's crew a crucial time to reflect back on how the year has gone, how your business has performed so ultimately, you can identify areas of improvement in over the the next year. Now in this episode, I'm going to share some tips on how to carry out an effective review.

Karen Davies [00:02:02]:

I'm gonna provide you with some practical tips so that you can make next year the best year in your business so far. So why do we need to carry out an end of year review? Why is it important? Now I think this is something that we should be doing every year. And I think it's important to be able to look back and review how things have gone. So we're looking at the good, we're looking at the bad, and we're looking at the ugly as well. So however your year has gone, I think it's really important to take the time to reflect on it. And, ultimately, it's so that we can identify areas where we've had growth or areas where maybe things haven't gone exactly how we would have wanted them to go and so we can make improvements so that we're entering into the new year in a much stronger position. It doesn't really matter what stage of the business you're at. You want to be able to identify your strengths, your weaknesses, and, most importantly, any opportunities that are available to you so that next year, you can focus on growth because, ultimately, that's what's going to help you to set realistic goals.

Karen Davies [00:03:20]:

It's going to help you make informed decisions, and, ultimately, it's going to help you improve your income as well. So I think as soon as December lands, it's important to take some time out to review how your year has gone so that you can understand exactly how your business has performed and where you wanna take your business next year as well. So December for me is my planning month. I always enter into December with a view of planning for the year ahead. So that's what I've been doing this week. I've been looking at my goals and what it is I want to achieve, and then I've been putting things in place to start setting me up for that success. And part of that process is looking back on my performance this year, I'm looking at the metrics in my business as well. Now I find December a great month for this because things tend to Slow Down, I tend to slow down so it kinda so I create that space where I can start to review and evaluate how the business has performed over this past year.

Karen Davies [00:04:33]:

And then when I come back after Christmas and and into the New Year, I've got my goals. I know what it is I'm looking to achieve so I can hit the ground running. And I find that that, for me, works really well because a lot of my goals that I set are based on things that have gone on in the year. So looking at those metrics, wanting to improve those metrics, and then looking at what it is I'm launching and how I'm going to do that. But the data that I have through my evaluation will inform my decisions going forward. So I think that's why it's really important to carry out an interview review because that way, you can start to use that data that you have to help you to make decisions if if we're going forward. So I wanted to share with you 10 steps to carrying out an effective review in your business. Now how long this is going to take you is going to be depending on where you are in your business.

Karen Davies [00:05:37]:

So if you're a newbie, it's not probably gonna take you long, but if you've been in business for a while, you're obviously gonna have more data to look into. But these 10 steps are gonna help guide you through the process. So by the end of it, you're going to have a really good idea about how your business has performed, where you are in your business and how you can then move forward. So my first step, step 1, is about setting clear objectives hibbs, as to why you're carrying out this review in the 1st place. Now you I you shouldn't be carrying out this review for the sake of the review, there needs to be a goal at the end of it. What is that goal? What do you want to learn? What do you want to know? And it might be as easy something simple as you want to know how your business has performed. But I think with anything, whether it's goal setting, whether it's launching something, whether it's promoting yourself on social media, you need to really connect to that objective, why are you doing it? Because if you're going to spend time and you're going to spend energy carrying out a particular exercise, then it has to be for a reason. So my step 1 is about nailing down that reason, that objective as to why you're doing this in the 1st place.

Karen Davies [00:06:58]:

Step 2 is about reflecting on your achievements. So it doesn't matter how your year has gone, you will have achieved something. You may have even achieved many, many things. What does that look like? I want you to start with the positives first. So really go back through your year Anne, write down all of your achievements. They don't have to be massive achievements. They could just be small wins that you've experienced throughout the year. It may be that you have taken on 5 new clients or you successfully launched your beta program or you made a sale on your with your online course, or it might even be that you grew your Instagram following by 10 people.

Karen Davies [00:07:51]:

It doesn't really matter what those achievements are. I think what matters is that you are recognizing the fact that you have moved forward and that you have achieved. So write them down and identify what those achievements are. Step 3, I want you to evaluate your goals. So hopefully, this time last year, you set yourself some goals for yourself and for your business. You now need to review them. Did you achieve your goals? If you did, what are goals did you achieve? How did you achieve them? And if you didn't achieve them, why didn't you achieve them, and what goals did you not achieve? By getting clear on this, it will help to inform your decisions that you're going to make for next year so it might be that the goals that you didn't achieve, you're gonna carry over into the next year. So step 4 is about accessing your metrics and your data and reviewing them.

Karen Davies [00:08:53]:

So with this, we're going to be looking at your financial data, your website metrics, and your social media data as well. So any data that you can get hold of that's going to give you an insight into how your business has performed. Because this is going to help you to identify any growth potential going forward. So, for example, if you're accessing your sales data and you recognize that you have sold more of a particular offer, then this is going to give you some insight as to what is selling well and maybe other areas that aren't selling well. So this information's going to be vital because this is where you can really sort of get into the weeds of how your business has performed. And here, you can identify things like conversion rates and how much it costs to acquire a customer. If you're running Facebook ads, you know, what does that look like? What's the price per customer cost? You can also start to look at what you've spent on your marketing whether you've got your return on investment, you know, carrying out the marketing that you've been running. So it's gonna help you to determine what strategies have worked and what ones are going to need adjusting going forward.

Karen Davies [00:10:14]:

This analysis will help you to optimize your sales and marketing strategies for the upcoming year. So the more data you can get access to, the more time you can spend evaluating it and the better your decisions are going to be next year. So step five is about identifying any trends that have taken place over this year. So what I mean by that is look at what you have sold. Look at what people are asking you for. And is there a particular trend that you can then identify and also go into your social media as well and into your DMs. All the specific questions that are coming up that people are asking you because this is going to also help you to inform your decisions for next year as well. So if you're finding that you're being asked the same thing or people are requesting a certain offer from you or a certain service, then that is going to inform your decisions as to what you're going to create going forward.

Karen Davies [00:11:25]:

So I think having a look at trends is equally important. And also have a look at things like how you've built your email list if that has been one of your focus. Have you created multiple lead magnets? And is there a particular lead magnet that's done well over, say, another lead magnet? So by looking at this, you can then identify what is being better received. And then like anything, we can do more of what's working and less of what's not working. So have a look at your metrics. Have a look at how things have gone in this area because you might actually find that this gives you answers that's gonna help you to inform your goals for next year, step 6 is evaluate client feedback. So if you have received client feedback or any client reviews and testimonials this year, then have a look at what you've received. And is there a commonality between them all? Are your clients saying a similar thing? And if so, what is that? Are they picking out your strengths, and can you use that going forward in your marketing? So if you've had reviews where they're saying that you are excelling in a certain area and that they love working with you because you're this, that, and the other, take that and use that in your marketing next year and use their language, their words to describe you.

Karen Davies [00:13:01]:

So go back and have a look at what you've received from your clients because that is content that you can then use going forward. So spend some time doing that because that is an area that we don't always do. We get a client review. We we stick it maybe on social. We put it maybe on Google My Business, and then not much is then done with it thereafter. So go back, have a look, and take the bits out of it and and and weave it into your marketing content. So step 7 is evaluating your systems terms and your processes. So this step is all about looking in at what you currently have in place I'm asking yourself if what you have is supporting you in the best way.

Karen Davies [00:13:52]:

Are you doing things manually, or do you have systems and processes that's supporting you? Are you automating your workflows and your systems so that you have that time back to focus on areas where you could actually make money. Now if the answer is no, then you need to start thinking about how you can best support yourself by implementing better systems. And this might be in the way of taking on a project management system or a CMS, a customer management system. Now if you are finding that you are spending a lot of time in sale updating spreadsheets and you're doing things manually, then you equally need to be thinking about adopting another system because your time is precious, and your time is money as well. So all the while you're doing this manual work where you're updating things manually, you can be having things in place that are more automated to give you that time back. Now something I use, and I've been using it for years actually, is I use a tool called Notion, and I love Notion. It's free, so it doesn't cost anything. But what I've been able to do is to set up systems and processes within the Notion platform.

Karen Davies [00:15:22]:

And this has really helped me because when I'm working with my VA, I'm not having to reinvent the wheel all the time. Everything is there. And it's a really simple platform that has helped me to build out my business so that I can automate aspects of it, which has given me lots of time back. The other tool that I use is a tool called Indi. I moved over from a platform called Dubsado. Dubsado is a CMS system, a customer management system where you can automate that sort of onboarding process. So when a customer or a client comes into your world, you can take them through a process so that they become a client. So you can automate your invoicing, your onboarding process, your contracts, all of that good stuff.

Karen Davies [00:16:15]:

Now at the beginning of last year, I moved over to a a form called Indi. And this has equally been really good. I really enjoy it. So I've been testing that platform over this past year. So so both platforms, Dubsado and Indeed, are really good. And and, equally, they have both helped me to automate and streamline my processes, and that has saved me lots of time. So if you are, as I said, spending a lot of time in Excel updating spreadsheets and trying to manage your business in that way, then I want you to have a look for a system or a process that's really going to help you streamline what it is you're doing. I know there are so many tools out there on the market.

Karen Davies [00:17:03]:

You can use Notion. You can use Trello. You can use Indeed, Dubsado. There's there's so many tools. And start looking at automating because that is the thing that's gonna make a difference for you so evaluate your systems, evaluate your processes, and start to implement automation because that's what's going to give you time back in your business. So step 8 is about setting SMART goals for the next year. So this is where you're going to identify where you want to be this time next year and how you're going to achieve those goals. And then based on the outcomes of this end of your review, you can start to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound goals for the future.

Karen Davies [00:18:00]:

So that's SMART goals. I think when you set goals, it's really vital to make sure that your goals are really well defined. You know why you're setting those goals, what they're for, and that they're aligned with your overall business strategy. So these goals are gonna help you move forward to take your business where they need to go. So when you're setting goals, you need to be really clear, really concise and really specific as well, and you need to make sure that they're actually going to move you forward in the direction that you want to go. Step 9 is about creating an action plan. So there's no point setting goals if you don't have an action plan to bring them to life. So step 9, you want to develop a 12 month action plan so that you can outline the steps needed they are ultimately going to achieve those goals.

Karen Davies [00:19:01]:

Now I know that sounds a little bit daunting, and you don't have to get into the weeds at this point. You just need to identify over 12 months how you're going to achieve those goals that you've set for yourself. So it might be as simple as getting 12 boxes, labeling them January to December, and then writing out your top level action that's gonna help you move things forward. That's exactly what I'm up to at the moment. I've got my 12 boxes, and I've mapped out what it is I want to achieve by the end of each quarter. And then I will then drill it down into further action steps as well. So I know that in January, I'm going to be launching my beta for my new program, and then I'm going to be launching that several times over the year. So then I can reverse engineer my efforts in terms of planning for those launches, and then I know exactly what action I need to take in order to make those activities happen so that's what you need to do.

Karen Davies [00:20:04]:

Create an action plan where you can plan out exactly what it is you want to achieve and then reverse engineer your efforts. So think about the action steps that you need to take to make those things come to life. My final step, step 10, is about tracking your progress. So there's no point setting goals and writing out your action plan if you're not tracking through the year on how that is progressing. So you need to create a system whereby you can track your progress on a regular basis, and you need to make sure that you're doing this in a really simple way that's not going to take too much of your time. And I mentioned earlier about the platform Notion. Notion is brilliant for this but you could because you can set up very simple tables whereby you can start to track your data. Make sure whatever system you have in place is not gonna take you long to fill in because you don't want to be spending all your time constantly reviewing.

Karen Davies [00:21:10]:

You just want to make that system simple and easy and something you can do on a regular basis. So there you have it. They are my 10 steps to carrying out an effective tip end of year review in your business. By following these steps, you'll be conducting a really effective end of year review that's going to become integral to your business's success. And by doing this, it's going to give you really valuable insights that's gonna help you to make informed decisions. It's going to help you to set realistic goals, and it's going to drive continuous improvement in your miss now before I finish today's episode, this episode is going to be the last one for 2023, so I'm going to be back in the new year with a brand new episode. But I just want to thank all of my listeners for taking the time to listen to my episodes and for supporting this podcast. I would be really grateful if you could leave me a review on Itunes for this podcast.

Karen Davies [00:22:22]:

I try and bring there's so much value into each episode so that you can walk away having either learned something also that you feel inspired and motivated to keep you on track on your business journey because it's not an easy path to be on, and so I really do hope that what you take from my episodes is of value and that you do enjoy listening time to listen to today's episode.

I hope you found this episode of value, and, of course, please feel free to share it with others who you may think will also benefit from listening to today's episode, if you are feeling inspired and would like to know how you can work with me, then please visit my site,

I will be back next year in 2024 we've a brand new episode. But until then, I just want to wish you a very merry happy Christmas and an absolute wonderful New Year. 

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the digitally she does it show, don't forget to check out the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode. New episodes drop every week on a Wednesday. So why not rate and subscribe so you never miss an episode? Thank you for tuning in today, and I will see you next time.