The end of financial year signifies more than just an opportunity to close off another official tax year; it presents the perfect opportunity to review the year that has been. Analysing the performances that got you there provides you with the opportunity to develop plans for further success in the next financial year.
In order to carry out an effective analysis of the previous year’s performance and results, you need to review your business performance against very clear measures; measures that give you an understanding of every relevant aspect of your business.
Different businesses spend the lead up to June 30 in a variety of ways. However, there are some close to universal actions which all businesses can apply to successfully review the undertakings of the year and apply these finding towards analysis and planning for the future:
- Review your actual business performance against your budgeted performance, including all your known variables. There is no better place to start to improve than by knowing exactly how well you did, according to how well you thought you would perform.
- Review the key drivers of the business and compare how these may have changed according to the previous five years. Have you been doing something differently that may have spiked or slumped your performance this year?
- Prepare a forecasted budget for the coming financial year, including your known variables as far ahead as you can see them. It’s impossible to predict the future, but you can forecast into the year by looking back on what you know has happened in the past.
- Consider the current state of your business plan and strategy. Has the core nature of your business shifted, either slightly or dramatically? Are there gaps in the market you can take advantage of with a clearer business vision for the New Year?
- Review your key staff and their performance. Your staff members are one of your most important assets. Are their performances in the expected range, or is extra training and support necessary to achieve your individual and collective goals? Review if you have been checking in with them regularly about their role, or decide whether you may need to review how you are tracking performance for the best information. This essential staff member review stage can be actioned through the engagement with The Performance Edge course, which will enhance existing capabilities of your high-performance team members as it focuses on crucial interpersonal and professional skills such as productivity, performance and personal leadership.
No one is capable of growth or improvement without self-reflection. Businesses are no different; they require constant maintenance and reflection to be able to plan for a better and brighter future.
Once you have reviewed the technical and operational aspects of your business leading up to the end of June, you can proceed to the planning stage.
Set your priorities
No matter what type of business owner you are, narrowing down your ideas from among all the worthwhile possibilities (whether it’s an opportunity to expand to a new market or choosing a better time management strategy), it can be difficult to focus on one thing at a time.
At the same time you review and update your business plan for the coming year, focus on what are the most important things for you to achieve this coming year. With your new priorities in mind, break them down into written goals, and then break them down again into smaller milestone tasks. By following this priority setting pattern you will maximise productivity, and enjoy the little successes that lead to big changes.
Think outside the box
Your priorities in the coming year may be to hit an ambitious revenue target, tap into a new market or relaunch your brand with a fresh new face.
Whatever they may be, an important thing to keep in mind, as you make plans to move your business forward is how you’ll stay relevant and engaging in an increasingly competitive market.
As part of your planning process, spend some time on market reconnaissance and research. Look back into previous SWOT analyses and see how you can plan new business moves that swing success in your favour. Understand what your unique selling position is and include it in as many plans as you can for your future moves.
At this stage you’ll be excited to get your ideas out there and enact all of your carefully considered plans. While you can do much as a one man band, you can’t do it all alone. Before you can really hit the ground running you will need to rally your team, no matter how large or small, to drive the best performance you can into this coming year.
How are you managing motivation in your business?
Motivating staff at any time throughout the year is a bit of a management art. However, the EOFY time is a perfect one to check in with what is driving your staff members to perform in the roles, and see how your new plans for the year can fit into their own individual goals.
- Have one-on-one meetings with all of your staff to communicate any new points of direction with them that may be happening in the business, as a result of your reviewing and planning stages
- Provide an opportunity for staff members to express their concerns and ideas coming into the New Year
- Determine what are the internal drivers of each of your staff members and allocate new or changed tasks from your review process, to better suit team members’ different strengths and interests
By properly reviewing the year that has been, planning ahead with priorities and focus, and engaging your team in your plans for the future, you will truly be ready to hit the ground sprinting towards your goals for your business.