We are officially in the second half of 2016. It's incredible to think that 180+ days have already come and gone this year. I guess time really does fly when you run your own business. There doesn't seem to be any time to stop and smell the roses, or to do a business review during the first half of the year.
Yet finding the time to conduct a business review can be crucial to your success. Before it's too late to have an impact on your business, you may want to carve out one day to do a business review and look at the first six months of the year. What did your company do right? What mistakes did you make? Were there any unexpected surprises? More importantly, what do you need to do now in order to make sure you hit your annual goals in December? These three simple steps may help your business review the first half of 2016 as well as predict what's coming up in the second half of the year.
Set a Date
Consider scheduling a one-day offsite meeting in July with your key employees and business advisers. Create an agenda, and have people prepare for the meeting. The objective is to look at your business and marketplace from 20,000 feet so you can see the big picture on where you've been, where you are now and where you want to go.
Review Your Plan
Hopefully you created an annual plan for 2016 that included a strategic goal (e.g. generate $800k in revenue this year) and an operational plan (how you specifically plan to get from where you were on January 1 to the $800k goal on December 31).
In the meeting, you can go over wins and losses. Are you on track for 2016? Did you lose a big customer? If so, what plans have you made to replace them? In addition, you can look at marketing (e.g. what's happening with social media?), human resources, cash flow, partnerships and every other facet of your company.
The offsite meeting is when all questions, concerns and suggestions can be addressed. Think of this meeting as halftime of the Super Bowl. You created an initial strategy and then played the first half. In the locker room, you are tweaking your plan, based on the results of the first half, to go out and win the second half, and the game.
Create Updates for the Second Half of 2016
In the last part of your meeting, consider taking the results of your discussions and update the plan for July to December. When your key employees, partners and business advisers walk out of the meeting, they should all have a clear understanding of your business and what needs to be done to achieve your goals at the end of the year. Once the meeting is over, it's time to execute!
When you get back to the day-to-day operations of your business, don't put the updated plan in a filing cabinet or on the shelf. Treat it as a living, breathing document and consider scheduling at least one meeting each month from July to December with key employees and advisers to remain focused on your goals. Good luck in the second half!
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