Reviewing this Year Before Planning 2019
It's the end of 2018, with only a few days remaining before our calendars flip forward to 2019. While January will include a lot of talk about goal setting and planning, for today, we wanted to encourage you to take some time to review the way that 2018 was for you, before moving on to 2019.
In our Community , we just wrapped up a two week review and it opened a lot of eyes as to what worked, what didn't, and what to improve upon for the next year, and so today, we wanted to give you some concrete items to review when looking over how the past year went for you as well. It's really easy to put blinders on and think "yes! Everything is great! Fine! Wonderful!" but when you truly look intrinsically and at everything individually as a part of a whole, it can really open your eyes to some things that you can change for the next year moving forward.
There are many questions that you can ask yourself when reflecting upon your year, but here are a few questions to help you to get started overall. We've also created a free download to pair with this blog post in case you would like to have a physical or digital copy to keep everything organized. If you'd like to have this as a free download to review and reply on each question, simply scroll to the bottom of this post and it'll be delivered to your inbox as soon as you sign up!
Review Your Core
Did you stay true to who you are and what you want your business to encompass moving forward? Or, do you need to make some changes?
Are there certain products and/or services you loved this year? If so, how can you expand upon these in particular?
Are there certain products and/or services you need to let go of this year? If so, why do you need to let them go, and when will you make it happen?
Review Your Customers + Clients
Did you work with your ideal customer or client this year?
Did you provide a consistent client experience for those you worked with this year? Or, do you need to improve upon this for next year?
What worked well with your Customers and Clients for this year?
What would you like to do differently for your customers + clients next year?
Review Your Brand
Did you maintain a strong brand presence this year?
How does your branding look overall? Is it cohesive, with different pieces you implemented throughout the year to help you to keep brand consistency at the forefront?
How is your copy within your brand? Did your wording stay consistent throughout the year to maintain a particular brand feeling? Or, do you need to work on this?
When it comes to your logo, your color palette, your style overall, does your branding reflect and portray your business well?
Review Your Money
Are you happy with the amount of net income (the money remaining after all expenses are paid) you generated for your business this year?
When looking at your overall expenses, did you keep them in control? Or, do you need to create a budget to work from for next year?
Did you pay yourself this year? If so, was it an amount that you are satisfied with?
When it comes to your accounting software, what did you use to help you stay on track? Is this something you need to invest in for next year?
Review Your Marketing
Did you create a Marketing Plan for your Business?
What worked well with your Marketing for this year?
For social media in particular, did you create content that was relevant to who you are as a business owner and market your business well?
What is an area of Marketing you would like to improve upon for next year?
Review Your Plan
Did you spend time planning? If so, what worked, and what did not work about your planning process?
What tools did you use to help you plan things out? Did they help you? Or, do you need to change something about them?
Did you implement systems and workflows which helped you to plan things out for your business? Or, are these something you need to work on for next year?
Did you set goals this year to make things happen in your business, or did you let your business happen to you?
And finally, do an overall review of 2018
What worked well for you this year, and what was a challenge?
What were some of your biggest successes that you want to celebrate?
Are you happy with the way the year went overall, and what is important to you moving forward?
Who were your biggest supporters this year? Who did you support in their business this year?
Did you take quality time off this year? Or, did you work, and work, and work, without taking quality time away?
Did you take care of yourself this year while running your business? Or, did you let your business run you?
This last question in particular is one that I want you to really think about. It is so easy to put self-care on the back burner and just push forward. However, you have got to take time for yourself, and literally plan out things that you do each day, week, and month, in order to take care of yourself well. I know this is a common phrase but you can't pour into others if your own body is an empty well. You have to remember to nurture yourself too.
When answering the questions above, it is so important to be truthful to yourself and make sure that you look at everything at an overall view. If you had a year where you struggled with a lot of things, choose to work on them little by little, planning them out at the beginning of the year. After you have reviewed the above items, then begin to map out your plan for the next year. Look at your business overall and notice which months were the busiest, which months were slower. Think about how many launches you want to do, and which months you want to do them that will work well for both your business and your personal life, and make an initial plan with what you would like the year to include for your business as you begin another year.
On that same note, it's also important to take some time to organize everything so that you can begin the year with a clean slate, both in your physical space and the digital space we work in.
Final Tip: Organize your Workspaces
Do you need to organize your office? When's the last time you went through and donated/removed items that you are no longer using? Notebooks, printed pages, office supplies, shipping supplies, etc?
If you have a shipping station for your business, how is it looking? Is it a bit overwhelming? Are boxes, stickers, tissue paper, bubble wrap, etc. organized? Or, could it use a little TLC?
How can you bring new life into your workspace? Do you want to potentially update artwork, or change your surroundings? Perhaps switch out a rug, or curtains, or even buy a new cup to hold your pens in?
How is your computer looking? Are all files organized, or is it, well, a bit of a hot mess? Take the time to clean out folders, organize and clean up your desktop, update what needs to be, clean up client design files, and trash what you don't need anymore.
How do the digital programs that you use looking? Your inbox, Asana projects, Google Drive overall, Trello boards and projects, Evernote etc., how many things can you clean up before 2018 closes out, so that you can start fresh and organized?
On your phone, when is the last time you went through and deleted things that you no longer need? If you created Instagram stories, or used an app that saved all of your posts to your phone before posting them, are all of those still there, taking up space on your phone and cluttering it up in general? If so, when can you have pockets of time to just sit and delete, delete, delete?
If you take the time to do this now, even a little at a time each day, it'll truly help you to begin January with a clean slate. And, we want to help you to create an incredible year, beginning in January too. So, we're going to dedicate the entire month to Planning and give you tips, tools, and suggestions all month long to help you with goal setting, content planning, and mapping out your year and beyond. We can’t wait to see how 2019 goes, and we hope that you’ll join us for another incredible year!