How has business been this year? Are you aware of how the various sectors of your organization did this year, and would you like for them to do better next year? If so, then it is time to perform a year-end business review.

This review is like a medical physical, and is helpful for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. During a physical your doctor asks probing questions not only about your physical health, but how things are going for you overall. Like a physical, the business review will help point out your good habits and diagnose any potential problems so they can be fixed.

To help you get started here are some of the things you should do as part of your review.

  1. Check your balance sheets
    Did you make a profit? How much did you make? This is a great time to look at your return on your investments. You know to look at what you purchased and spent over the year. For example, one area of expense that can get missed is what was spent on education and training for you and the rest of the organization. Was it effective, or could it be done differently or more efficiently?
  2. Review paperwork: business plans, contracts, and legal agreements
    When was the last time you took a look at your business plan? Business plans are not just materials to be shown to outside parties. Your business plan is a tool to help guide your internal operations, and should be a living document that reflects the ongoing changes within your business.

    Do you know the status of various agreements, policies and contracts? Many businesses sign long-term agreements, for things like yellow page advertising, lease agreements, and insurance policies which were all fine when they first started out. Some of these items might be out-of-date and costing the business money or an old insurance policy might not be covering your business as well as you might think. Oh, and don’t forget to look at the legal aspects of your business since that too might be out-of-date.

  3. Review costs of goods and services
    Have you reviewed your vendors and service providers recently? It is important to actively manage your costs of goods and services. While price increases are a part of doing business, businesses need to keep track so their profit margin is not severely affected. This even applies to those vendors you might be using to supply items like coffee, snacks, and paper for your organization.
  4. Evaluate your marketing and public relation (PR) efforts and needs
    This is the point where you take a closer look at what worked, did not work, and what needs tweaking for your marketing and PR campaigns. Take a look at each item separately. Some examples are:

    • Advertising
    • Trade Shows
    • Website marketing materials
    • Social Media marketing
    • Press Releases
    • Annual Report
    • Communications Policies

An important area to analyze is your various communication mediums and what they are doing, especially in this digital age. Website marketing and social media marketing plans are an important part of your communication as a business, and contribute to the quantity and quality of inbound leads for your business. Websites and social media presence not only bring business, but impact your company’s perceived reputation and level of trust among customers. Also remember, review those materials (i.e. PDF’s and PowerPoint) that visitors can download and pass around.

By making a conscientious effort to review your business, you will know exactly how your money was spent and the effectiveness of your efforts for the year. This knowledge can help formulate new strategies and an effective game plan for the coming year, helping your business thrive in spite of the current economy.

If you would like to discuss your year-end review with CueCamp please contact us.

Written and Posted by: CueCamp