The holiday season is filled with beauty but tends to be chaotic. It’s not uncommon to be running around with your hair on fire trying to get a thousand errands done while juggling multiple priorities. There are presents to buy, meals to cook, activities to plan, and guests to entertain. With all this commotion, it’s easy to put your business on the back burner. However, if you can spare some time before the holiday break to do an annual business analysis, the benefits can be significant.
By conducting an annual business analysis, you can identify areas that need improvement and the changes needed to ensure a successful start to the new year. Annual business reviews are important for organizations of any size and mission.
First, you should understand and document the steps involved in the process. After you gain an understanding of how to perform the analysis, you can then apply the results to your business, setting yourself up for the best new fiscal year possible.
Evaluate Your Business Goals
Reviewing business goals is an essential part of your plan. As time goes on, it’s common for your goals to change. Right before the new year is a great time to do this because it can help position your business for the best possible outcomes as soon as people return to work in January. This gives you a competitive advantage over businesses that fail to implement changes by learning about their organization.
By taking the time to review business goals, your business will have greater clarity about meeting its objectives. This process can also help to identify any areas that need improvement. It’s important to ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). This is a proven methodology used by businesses across the globe. Analyzing current goals and setting new ones if needed gives you a high-level picture of your business so you can perform the next steps of the analysis with greater clarity.
External Analysis: Things You Can’t Control
Analyzing the external environment is crucial, especially in times of rapid change like we are currently experiencing. External analysis can be done using many models, but a proven method is PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal). This analysis provides a comprehensive picture of the competitive landscape to identify any new challenges that may arise in the next year. It’s important to help you identify potential opportunities or threats that could impact your business goals. Armed with this information, you will have better insight to conduct your internal analysis.
Internal Analysis: Things You Can Control
Internal analysis is particularly valuable because you have the ability to proactively change the things you discover, as opposed to external PESTEl analysis, to which you are more likely to be reactive. Areas of focus to consider include:
- Revenue and profitability results and trends
- Organizational chart and staffing requirements
- Quality of customer service
- Customer feedback
- Connection with your audience
- Channels used to reach your audience
- Relevance of current messaging to your audience
Apply Your Analysis
After conducting a thorough annual business analysis, the next step is to apply the lessons learned to your business planning efforts. This includes making changes to your goals, adjusting your marketing plan, and implementing new strategies based on what you learned from your internal and external evaluation.
By taking the time to apply the results of your annual business analysis, you can stay ahead of the competition and ensure that your business remains profitable and sustainable. When you make these changes before the holidays, you can hit the ground running in the new year with a clear plan for success.
We know it’s tough to prioritize your business during the busy holiday season. However, analyzing your business goals, the external environment, and internal operations is essential for driving successful outcomes in the new year. Taking the time to do an annual business analysis is a necessary part of this process as it helps businesses anticipate change, identify areas that need improvement, and plan ahead to capitalize on upcoming opportunities.
If you need help analyzing your business, schedule a consultation with us to get started.
From our family to yours, we hope you have a happy holiday season!