|Photo Credit: CNN Money|
I have found myself more reliant on my calendar more than ever before. My schedule is busier and busier lately. I began counting how many weeks were left from yesterday until the first week of 2012 and it is six. Yes, only six weeks left of 2011.
I personally feel it should be a time of reflection on the good, the bad, and the ugly. The areas that need improvement and the progress you made based on goals you set for yourself. According to a Brookings Institution study reported by CNN, few businesses have staying power beyond the five year mark.
There are several reasons entrepreneurs are starting businesses these days -- including 35% who are seeking a work and lifestyle change. Nearly 3% of startups were a result of being unable to start a job, but companies that survive have certain goals, attributes, and motivations.
Nearly 30% of the sampled businesses responded that they wanted their businesses to grow big. Despite the fact that nearly 40% were in markets with competitors offering the same items, 22% attribute their staying power to expecting research and development to spearhead their efforts.
End of Year Reflection
Why did you start your own business?
What is it that has kept you successful beyond the five year mark?
What will you focus on to sustain success beyond the five year mark?
- What were my goals this year? How much of them did I accomplish?
- How many unfinished projects am I bringing into the New Year?
- How did this happen? (Life changes, procrastination, illness)
- Could I have done better?
- What could I have done differently?
- Do I have the same goals?
- Did I exceed my goals?
- What growth (if any) have I experienced since last year, this time?
End of Year Strategy
Responses to the above survey will be as varied as the readers of this blog. Each entrepreneur has a unique story for their success or failure. Business failures often come from lack of planning, lack of resources, lack or focus, and inconsistency. On the contrary, business men and woman can experience success by determination, planning, good cash flow, competitive business strategy, and business know how.
What new technologies can your business apply to make processes more efficient? It is likely that each business owner can think of at least three things they would like to try or continue going into the new year.
Here are sample questions to get your strategy jump started:
- Write out 5 things you would do differently for next year?
- Write out 5 improvements you can make to present processes that you have not implemented?
- Construct an end-of-year survey for your newsletter subscribers to engage them and query their interests.
- Tie each new idea you want to try to a direct impact for your business: i.e. utilizing blogging more to reach customers and increase sales.
- Decide what unfinished projects you will actually do and get rid of the others. Finish what you start!