There is much to do as the year comes to a close, especially for a small business owner. What are we thinking about the most? Taxes of course! But it’s also a perfect time of year for solitude and self-reflection. It’s a time to evaluate your goals and create a plan for the New Year.
I personally love closing the books at year end to marvel in the journey itself. I find it to be a wonderful time to practice self-reflection and review my business plan. I like to find solitude without distractions so that I can quietly ponder what I created in the last 12 months. I am an entrepreneur at heart. I love going through all of the pages in my journal to see where I started the year and read through everything I have written. I smile and nod at the progress.
I start by celebrating the “wins”. I didn’t use to begin my review this way. I used to begin the process by going down the list of failures and put a magnifying glass on all of the pitfalls, or lost revenues. This format blocked my creativity, and certainly didn’t get me excited for the New Year. This was both non-productive and destructive.
Once I changed up the format, I found closing the books at the end of the year to move from dreadful to joyful. What did I do right? What worked? What did my clients love? How many people did I help? Celebrate all of the good!
I take a look at what worked to see where I can do better next year. I also look at what didn’t work and learn from those mistakes.
End of Year Practices for Your Esthetic Business
1. Get help: For some estheticians getting financial books in order is difficult, and for others it’s effortless. It is a smart business decision to hire professional help if needed. I recommend using a CPA as they are knowledgeable in tax law.
2. Evaluate last year’s goals: Dig out last year’s business plan and review the goals. Take notes so you can adjust your goals for the new year’s business plan.
- Did you accomplish what you wanted? Why or why not?
- What could you have done better?
- What products and services will you keep?
- What will you omit?
3. Do a market analysis: The market analysis is the section of your business plan in which research is done to discover important information about your target market. You can access resources from the Small Business Association or hire a professional to do one for you.
4. Marketing and Advertising Evaluation: All of the marketing tools you use these days come with built in analytics. Make sure to create a report for each different tool to find out if your marketing and advertising dollars are converting to leads.
5. Sales Evaluation: Review your leads to find out how many are converting into clients, or sales. Are you getting leads from your marketing and advertising dollars but losing them somewhere in the sales funnel? Find the weak link in the chain and fix it!
6. Make a Business Plan for the New Year: If you have not created a business plan, or created one only to forget about it by February, this is the year to make that change! If you are a do-it-yourselfer, there is a lot of useful information available on the internet for creating a business plan. Once again, if this is not your strong side, consider hiring a professional!
7. Reevaluate your Mission: What is your company Mission? Has it changed from last year? Do your employees and clients know your vision? They should.
8. Set clear goals: Creating SMART goals is a smart first step to achieving any goal. Business goals should be SMART:
Enjoy the end of the year by getting a head start on a successful and profitable business in the new one!
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