With Christmas season officially open (at least in shops and supermarkets), the end of 2017 is now within clear sight. This makes it the perfect time to review your achievements from this year and start thinking about the next. Here are 3 often overlooked but proven methods for nailing your yearly business review:
1.Prepare an agenda and share it ahead of time
Start by thinking about what you hope to achieve by the end of your yearly review. This is the best time to reflect on both business success and aspects that you feel need further attention in the future, so you can start planning towards them happening in the new year. Here are a few items you may wish to include on your agenda for your yearly business review:
- What worked and what hasn’t? Review your big wins and losses to have a better picture of how you are ending the year
- Organisation changes: are you considering major organisational changes over the next 6-12 months? If so, discuss these with your stakeholders to ensure resources and budgets are allocated accordingly, and pencil down desired deadlines for each initiative
- Infrastructure changes: will your business be expanding over the next year? Do you plan to make changes to the systems and technologies your organisation is using? Discuss potential partnership needed to strategically plan and implement these changes
When preparing your business review meeting, remember to share the agenda with participants well ahead of time, as this will allow them to prepare. The discussions will flow on a more focused and deep level when all attendees are familiar with the items up for discussion, and they will have a better chance of presenting what their departments have accomplished over the past year as well as what they plan for the next.
Moreover, having an agenda for the review meeting will help to keep the conversation on track while also holding you accountable for going thorough all key points within the allocated time.
2. Bring in relevant reports and supporting data
This in a key point for everyone attending the business review meeting. Each attendee should bring along supporting data and reports that specifically address their department’s performance over the past 12 months, as well as data that can indicate aging hardware or systems that need to be upgraded to enable them to perform better over the next period. This will help everyone around the table to set expectation and agree on a set of goals to be delivered over the new year.
3.Be prepared to conduct the meeting, not to react to various frustrations that make surface
Sometimes your business review session may be high jacked by unwelcome venting sessions from various department leaders. Do your best to anticipate this by thinking back on previous reviews and keep in mind that it is YOU who should be running this meeting and ensuring the items on your agenda are all covered and discussed in a constructive manner.
If you are aware of potential frictions in your company, be proactive and bring these to the table yourself framing the discussion around how to prevent or alleviate these moving forward. Be prepared to discuss the previous period’s wins and losses and own up to any mistakes or weaknesses but do not allow for the conversation to derail too much from the agenda. Share what you learned from previous mistakes and how you’ll prevent the same problem from occurring again.
We’d love to hear what other items are on your agenda when you conduct a yearly business review. What are you bringing to your review meetings that is making an impact on your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below