I encourage people I work with and those in my network to reflect on their business goals and objectives at regular intervals within the year. Many of us take advantage of the quieter month of December to set goals for the coming year and so we’ll now be approaching our 6-month mark, the perfect time to reflect back on our business objectives and measure our progress so far.
Personally, I look back with retrospect at a number of things – namely those that took prominence in my business plan for the whole year. Throughout my half year business review, I always look for what I can learn, improve upon or change completely. Six of the areas I often include are:
1. My value proposition
Is my value proposition still relevant to my audience, and what can I learn from feedback I’ve received. Is this a good time to ask for feedback if I feel I need more? This is an area of continual focus for me, and I use customer feedback to shape my value proposition to ensure I’m still relevant and delivering on the need of my customers and prospects.
2. Customer segments
Taking a closer look at which areas of my business is best delivering to my customers helps me maintain focus on growing the customer segments that will benefit most from my services. Are these the areas of my business that I enjoy delivering the most? Do I need to look at different prospects, or find new areas to focus my marketing and sales on, so as to gain traction in a new customer segment? What experience have I gained in the last period that helps me deliver the best solution for my audience, and do I now better understand their pain, problem, fear, want, need or desire?
3. Marketing channels
In my half year review, I reflect on my marketing to ensure it’s still relevant, that I’m fishing in the right pond, with the right tools and using the right bait! Is my value proposition coming through, am I seeing a good return on my investment of time and money?
4. Customer journey
With marketing and sales in mind, adding in my learns from my value proposition and customer segments, is my customer journey clear enough? Am I taking advantage of all the touch points to help them to move through the stages of awareness, consideration, purchase, loyalty and advocacy? How have my relationships with my customers developed?
I include reflecting on my business processes, systems and software at this point, to ensure they’re all serving my business or take the opportunity to make improvements.
5. Key activities
All business plans, even the one-page business plan includes key activities to undertake each day, week, month and so on. These are the high pay-off activities that drive you closer to your business goals. Have you been ticking them off? Are they unattainable and therefore require breaking down into smaller steps? Are they stretching you far enough out of your comfort zone to make a measurable impact?
6. My numbers
I’ll be looking at everything that goes into producing my business numbers: the numbers that drive my ‘success’. . Are my outgoings still expenses considered to be an investment, or have they become a cost to me and my business? Are my primary and secondary revenue channels driving the income that I desire?
I’d be very interested to hear what you include in your half-year business review. If you’d like to talk it over with someone you can trust who has decades of experience across a wide range of business types, feel free to get in touch.
I look forward to hearing from you.