While I’m eager to start making resolutions for my business in 2016, I know I first need to look at how my company did this past year in meeting the goals I established 12 months ago. How about you? Did you accomplish what you planned to for 2015? Now is the perfect time to assess results so you can set next year up for even more success.
Get Out Your List
If you made resolutions at the start of the year (or maybe just goals … they’re essentially the same thing), find that list now. Hopefully you didn’t stash it out of sight, or the list might have slipped your mind completely, making it that much more difficult to achieve your goals!
Look at the Data
If you did a good job of setting up actionable goals, you should be able to easily look at the correlating data to see how you did. For example, if you set the goal of increasing revenues 50 percent, you can look at your profit and loss statement to see how much more you brought in over last year.
This is why you want to use hard numbers in establishing goals. Simply saying “I want to increase revenues” is too nebulous. If you made $1 over last year, you achieved your goal! That’s why I always set my goals with a percent increase, and I push just a little further than I know I can achieve.
Hopefully, you have at least moved the needle a bit toward your goals. If you didn’t completely reach your target, don’t sweat it. Use the results you did get to help you in building goals for 2016.
Also pay attention to why you didn’t achieve goals. If, for example, you were sick during the biggest conference of the year that usually nets you the most leads, you didn’t utterly fail, and you’ll get it right next year. If you didn’t sell as many of your new product as you aimed to, look at why that might be. Are you marketing it well? Is it priced appropriately? Is there too much competition for similar products? Use this information to tweak your selling strategy.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
As you build out your goals for next year, keep both your 12-month plan as well as your longer-term plan in mind. While you may be focused on the immediate, such as increasing sales and customers, you also want to slowly move toward where you want to take your company over time. If you plan on stepping into more of a leadership role as you expand your team, make hiring new employees part of your yearly objective. If you plan to sell your business in five years, make sure what you’re doing now will make it an attractive purchase down the road.
Having goals is what keeps you on your toes as an entrepreneur. Make sure you’re constantly working toward bigger and better in your business.
Read all of Nellie Akalp’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
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This article was written by Nellie Akalp from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.