Reflecting back is a great way to move forward. Where are you against your 2019 plan? Ahead, behind, or “on” target? What should you start doing? Stop doing?
Do you know how well your business is progressing as we hit the mid-point of 2019? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. These helpful steps to conduct a Mid-Year Business Review from B2B CFO® will help you start the process so you can stay on course, or course correct in any area of your business.
Gather the following documents and information:
o Your 2019 business plan
o Your 2019 marketing plan and/or calendar
o Your list of strategic initiatives — those items you planned to do to improve your client experience, strengthen your team and/or support structure, and market and grow your business
o Gross income, your expenses, and your profit
o Client feedback — surveys, client advisory board discussions, etc.
o Roster of new hires or employees who have resigned
Time to assess your 2019 progress. Assessing these nine core areas of your business can be key to uncovering gaps or allow you to change course mid-year.
o Are your initial goals still relevant?
o What have you accomplished so far?
o Any milestones missed? Why?
o Any new priorities asking for new goals?
o Are you developing new business opportunities?
o Have you entered into new business segments?
The next step in the mid-year business review is looking at the numbers. This is actually a multi-fold step because there are several things to access:
o What was your gross income, your expenses, and your profit?
o What are your most profitable services and product offerings vs. what is actually costing you?
o Are there any areas to cut expenses, such as services you don’t need to use any more?
o Is there an opportunity to make money with a new project or idea?
o Are your financial reports current, reliable, and useful to you in operating your business?
o Are there any changes needed in your current year tax planning?
Review your sales to check whether you need to shift your strategy, drop items or sales methods or increase marketing. In sales, salespeople should review their accounts and compare YTD performance this year vs last.
o How are your sales by item, profit margin, selling method, geographic area, gross profits per item and return rate performing?
o Are sales goals on target against goals set in January?
o What products/services are not performing up to goal?
o What products/services are exceeding goals, and why?
o If sales are up, did you expect an increase? If not, can you figure out why they are up? Perhaps the customer base is growing, and the company needs to increase production to meet the new demand.
o If sales are down, was it expected? If not, drill down on the answers. Did your customers start using a competitor’s products or services, and the business is lost?
By seeing if you’re on track to meet annual goals at mid year, it gives you the remainder of the year to modify strategy, shift focus, and work to achieve those goals. Or, potentially, modify the original sales plans and goals to new ones.
Customer Experience Goals:
Most companies get 80% of their business from 20% of their customers. If your key customers are unhappy, it’s time to course-correct.
o Is your customer portfolio balanced?
o Do you have enough long-term clients?
o Are there any collaborations you’d rather end?
o Are your social media platforms receiving positive customer feedback?
o Are you monitoring your customer ratings and reviews?
o Are you measuring your Net Promoter Scores?
o How do you compare against the competition to get new customers?
Most business agree that employees are their number one asset. So monitoring employee engagement, turnover and morale is critical.
o Is employee turnover too high?
o Are you losing more people, especially key players?
o Are your compensation policies in line with your competitors?
o How many new hires have you had since January? Are they performing up to standards?
o Do you have an adequate organization chart, effective and fair job descriptions, a useful employee policy guide, attractive compensation and benefits, and high retention rates?
o Do you have effective recruiting, retention and termination processes?
Carve out at least four hours over the next couple of weeks to conduct your mid-year assessment. When you take the time to assess your business, you’re sure to uncover insights, opportunities or signs of items that need immediate repair. Be sure to enlist the help of a business advisor like a B2B CFO® Partner with the expertise to uncover the valuable insights that will inform positive change in your business — and ensure the rest of your goals are on track at the end of the year.