The temperatures are heating up and the days are getting longer. Summer’s just around the corner, and many business leaders view this as a time to take it easy. But many smart business leaders view it as a time to take stock in the last half of the year in a mid-year business review.
There are many reasons to do so. It gives you more time to recalibrate on things that aren’t working, rather than waiting until December when more damage could be done. It can give you a leg up on the competition that may be slowing down over the summer months. And it can be a great time to re-energize yourself and your people with fresh goals and challenges.
But how do you do a mid-year review? Here are 7 tips.
1. Mark some time off.
While you’re scheduling that family beach vacation, go ahead and schedule a half day for yourself to go somewhere peaceful to reflect. It could be while you’re on break at the beach, or at a park, or a coffee shop. Just be sure there are no distractions. Then start asking yourself some questions.
2. Take stock.
Now is a great time to think about how far you’ve come in the past six months. What are you grateful for? Where have you and your business grown? What new cool clients are you working with?
3. Glance at those 2018 goals.
How are you doing with them? Have you sold as many books or gained as many new clients as you wanted? Are they still relevant? Maybe you’re off mark because of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will pay off in the long run. If so, time to push a reset. What are your priorities now?
4. Look at those numbers.
This is likely most people’s least favorite part—but it’s necessary, because looking at numbers now could save you a lot of heartache six months down the road.
Review what money has come in, gone out, what your tax situation is, what’s making money and what’s eating it up, what expenses aren’t necessary, who still needs to pay you, how your rates stack up to your competition, and what opportunities (like a new client, speaking gig, or project) exist to ramp up your cash flow.
5. Do a systems check.
Many times, we embark on a new collaboration or launch a new strategy hoping it will make our lives easier but the opposite happens. What’s creating headaches in your daily life? Is your project management system too clunky? Is that new collaboration draining time and money? Is your assistant not completing necessary tasks on time? Once you pinpoint what’s making your life harder instead of easier, brainstorm alternatives.
6. Review your marketing.
Whether you’re trying to sell books, get new clients, or land speaking gigs, chances are you’re putting yourself out there. Look at your marketing materials and activities like your social media and media relations activity, website, and brochures and advertising collateral. What’s paying off and what’s not? Do you need a refresh of your content? Are you resonating with your audiences? Are you spending too much or too little time and money on your marketing efforts?
7. Look at those clients.
Check to see if your client/customer portfolio is balanced. Do you need more long-term clients? Are there clients that are draining your resources rather than replenishing them? Think about what may need to be cut to free up space for collaborations that will benefit you and your business.
Finally, pat yourself on the back. You’ve already done more than most people. Celebrate what you’ve achieved so far. And, if you’re not on mark, don’t beat yourself up. Now you have the time to create an action plan so that 2018 is still on track to be your best yet.
What other mid-year evaluations do you recommend?
Whitney is the public relations director at WI. She started her career in communications as a TV news anchor/reporter in Virginia and Tennessee before switching to public relations. Whitney earned her bachelors in government at Georgetown University, and masters in PR from the University of Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with her family in Knoxville, TN, and running competitively.