Businesses are feeling the pinch of inflation and the cost of living crisis, just as they are still recovering from the pandemic. Add into this the current turmoil in government and the rest of the year looks likely to be an extremely challenging operating environment for many.
One proactive thing that business leaders can do to ensure their company is in good shape for the rest of the year is to conduct a mid-year review.
A lot can change in six months, so this is an opportunity to take stock and evaluate what’s working and what’s not, so goals can be adapted for the months ahead.
This is an important exercise no matter what the size and type of business. Looking back at what has been learned, and the successes and perhaps failures so far, is the key to ongoing success. Once the review is done it enables businesses to set out their goals for the next six months, confident that they are on track.
To conduct a review, simply jot down the answers to the following questions:
What great things have the business accomplished so far this year? Include everything – big and small. Taking an objective look at what went well, is a good way to understand what has worked for the business and make note of the learning within each success.
How did this happen? Here it’s essential for individuals as business owners to look specifically at what they did to make this happen. This can build recognition and confidence in their abilities as a leader, to support their personal growth
What hasn’t happened as planned? Be honest here, but don’t judge – often there are good reasons why things didn’t happen. Look at what didn’t happen and then reflect – with curiosity and kindness on why that was. Understanding these reasons, can help businesses improve their plans, upgrade skills or update resources to better prepare for the future.
What has worked best for the business this year? Consider what marketing strategies, relationships, products, processes, and clients have worked best for the business. Brainstorm everything that’s had a positive impact on the business and what this means for the rest of the year.
Why have these worked so well, and what hasn’t? Again, be honest and don’t judge. Really get to grips with why these worked or not, and look at what can be improved, adjusted, or stopped altogether to ensure that the business builds on what works best for the rest of the year.
What, as the business owner, did they enjoy the most, and why? Businesses and individuals are always evolving so writing down what they enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) over the last six months may give them a different perspective on where they are heading next. Richard Branson once said, “If it’s no longer fun stop doing it”. This is always worth considering when running a business, as it’s not a given.
What is the state of the finances? It’s vital to keep a check on the finances. Look at how much income was planned to be generated, against the reality since the beginning of the year. Look at the costs – expected and unexpected, and if there are there any outdated costs that can be got rid of. Plan for any quiet periods ahead, such as July/August when business activities can slow down. Use this information to make any necessary adjustments.
Map out the business goals for the next six months
Finally, set goals and objectives for the rest of the year, based on what has been learned from the review. These need to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. Break goals down into clear plans and activities, then schedule and assign these so everyone in the business knows what actions need to be taken, when and by whom.
All businesses no matter how large or small can benefit from a mid-year review. It enables changes to be made to the current strategy, processes, or resource allocation and fills any gaps. These adjustments come from knowledge and learning, rather than guesswork and can ensure businesses are on track for success.
Listen to Melitta’s podcast and download her workbook for more tips for conducting a mid-year MOT, by clicking here.