Learn From 2011 And Refresh Your Goals For 2012

Happy new year and congratulations for surviving another year in business. Are you just surviving or thriving? Or do you know? No matter what kind of business you own or at what stage (start-up, five years old, 20 years old) you will benefit from a detailed review of last year and a new or refreshed plan for next year. And the good news, it doesn’t have to take hours and hours of time to get re-focused and re-charged. Here’s a real life example of the questions I answered and provided to a business group my company belongs to on the morning of January 5th during breakfast.

Debrief 2011:
– Top line and bottom line sales (gross sales and gross profit);
– Major earners by line item (what product or service were considered major earners?);
– Major losers by line item;
– What did you do well? List three things;
– What did you do not so well? List three things;
– What did you learn?
– How will you apply to next year?

Objectives for 2012:
– Overall financial and non financial goals;
– Top line and bottom line sales (overall sales and net profit);
– What product or service will be a new earner in 2012?
– What will earn more in 2012 vs. 2011?
– How will you maintain a focus on your goals stated for 2012?
– Do you plan to measure your performance?
– When will you measure your performance and how frequently?

With the help of my trusted colleagues in my business group I got through this presentation and answered their follow-up questions. Moreover, it was valuable to hear their presentations using the same format as new ideas came up. This exercise forced me to articulate and defend my ideas. It also forced me to use accurate numbers, something that I am guilty of not always knowing because their is too much swimming in my head at times.

Give this exercise a try and let us know how it worked for you. Or share your ideas, we’d really appreciate hearing from you.