Money Matters: Why you should be doing a fall review of your business
While most people think of spring as the time for cleaning up, setting goals, starting fresh and “springing ahead,” fall can be an equally opportune time to prepare for the future — especially when it comes to your business. There is no better time than fall to check in with your business’s current performance, prepare for year-end activities and plant seeds for the coming year.
This fall, get ahead of next year’s “spring cleaning” by doing a fall review of your business and preparing for 2023. Read more to learn about the difference this will make and how you can make your business review the most effective.
Why do a business review?
In order to have a strong, focused business strategy, evaluation of progress is key. The following are some ways doing a fall review will be beneficial for your business strategy:
Establish clear objectives: If you haven’t done so already, the business review is an excellent opportunity to define a clear business direction and strategy. This might include identifying your business’s competitive advantage, defining the target market, deciding how to best use core competencies and setting goals for growth.
Stay on track: If goals are not revisited, it is easy to lose sight of them and wander with no clear direction for your business. A business review provides an opportunity to check in on progress toward goals, identify obstacles and make plans to overcome any barriers.
Take corrective actions: A fall review is a time to make any needed corrections to business practices. Instead of prolonging issues, they can be brought to the surface during the business review and addressed immediately.
Adapt to change: Circumstances are constantly changing, so you need to make sure your business is keeping up with the ever-evolving environment. This might include changes in socioeconomic conditions, business competition, consumer trends and more. When reviewing your business, you should evaluate these conditions and adjust objectives and strategies accordingly so your business can dynamically respond to change.
Prepare for the future: Conducting a business review in the fall will enable you to make preparations to finish out the year strong since annual goals can sometimes lose their fervor by the end of the year. In addition, you will be planting seeds for the following year so that by the time a spring evaluation comes up, you will have active goals and progress to work with.
Become more profitable: If all these things are done well, your business will be more profitable. Your strategic objectives will help you outshine your competitors, gain greater market share, use resources more efficiently and address any roadblocks getting in the way of success.
How do you conduct a business review?
So, what are best practices for conducting a successful business review and making it a beneficial experience? Some specific details will depend on your business and its needs, but in general, consider following these suggestions:
Prepare ahead of time: In preparation for the review, be sure to notify participants well in advance so that they can be prepared to make meaningful contributions. Invite members of the leadership team and let them know the purpose of the review. As it gets closer, provide an agenda so there are no surprises during the meeting.
Assess current progress: The first step is to assess current progress, including what is going well and what isn’t. Evaluate your core activities, business efficiency, financial position and key metrics related to your goals.
Analyze the business environment: In addition to evaluating your internal business standing, it’s important to evaluate the current standing of external factors. Conduct a competitor analysis, perform a customer and market analysis and identify any changes in environmental factors that might be impacting your business.
Redefine business goals: Much of the research and evaluation can be done ahead of time and shared with the leadership team so that during the actual meeting, the focus can be on solving problems, developing strategies and setting new goals. The result of the meeting should be clear new goals that can be communicated throughout the organization.
Don’t wait until next year to review your business. Fall is an ideal time for you to conduct a thorough business review and prepare for the future. And if you do so, come next spring, “spring cleaning” will be a lot easier, and your business will be blooming with success!
Peter Ord is the founder of GUIDEcx, a client implementation and onboarding project platform based in Lehi.