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Reflect on this year’s performance and plan the numbers for next year

Last updated December 10, 2013

Numbers never seem as important as they do at this time of year. You might be frantically tracking and checking your numbers to make sure that you focus on the right things that are going to ensure that your hit your year-end target. On the other hand you are fully aware at any time of where your numbers are that you have already made sure that the 2013 target will be or already has been, hit. If you are in the second category then you will already be fully aware of what your plan and targets are for next year.

The goals and objectives will be SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and targeted), you will have spent time reviewing what you have achieved so far, what the current and future market conditions are and how you are going to continue your growth curve.

Your KPIs (key performance indicators) will be in place as well as the reporting mechanism to accurately track. You will have set your benchmark standards for the main parts of your business. You’ll know when you will need extra resources as your business grows, you’ll know when investment is required, or to start and complete a new project.

Your markets and products will have been reviewed and plans for new product put in place together with the associated marketing plans. You might have decided which customers you will either cease trading with, because you lose money, or have plans in place to improve their profitability. You will have targeted new customers as well as how to continue to serve you best existing customers.

In fact you will have taken a step back and then had a good long hard look at your business and how it is performing right now. Identifying the problems and barriers to your growth will be an important part of your analysis and planning and will now be on the top of your to do list.

But if you haven’t done all of this yet there is still time to get yourself, and your business, in shape for 2014. You need to give yourself some thinking time; it’s time to ask those important questions and seek the answers too. You’ll have lots of the answers hidden away in numbers in your business. If you are not sure where to start then try the standard reporting packages in your on-line accounting software or your CRM system. Look at the numbers and then see what they are telling you – the good the bad and the ugly all need some attention.

Mulling things over or giving yourself thinking time is one of the best personal objectives you should have for the New Year.

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Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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