Why an end-of-the-year assessment is good for small business owners

A pondering business man

December is a good time to pause and reflect, before setting meaningful goals and preparing for a purpose-filled in the coming year.

Learning from Bill Gates who has spoken much about taking some time off in December to do an end-of-the-year assessment, many successful entrepreneurs also follow suit. They take stock of the past 11 months and pause for reflection – pondering ideas, celebrating accomplishments, questioning certain decisions made and most importantly, using this opportunity to create self-awareness without judgement.

The concept of doing an end-of-the-year assessment is incredibly powerful. For small business owners in London who have been battling with rising costs and unpredictable economic climate, taking a day or two to reflect can actually sharpen your focus and help you plan for the next year. While there is no set-in-stone framework on how one should go about doing this end-of-the-year assessment, in this article, we aim to discuss a few points which may help to facilitate this process.

The top eight questions to ask during an end-of-the-year assessment

1. What have you achieved?

Let’s start with a note of encouragement by stating what you have achieved this year. Let your mind take you back to those peak moments and remember the satisfying feelings. Acknowledging achievements is a meaningful way to recognise the positive aspects of what you have been doing and reinforce the positive behaviour you want to carry on.

2. What has not worked and why?

This may be harder than it sounds as not many people like to reflect on failures candidly, but doing so shows an act of courage and can develop resilience.

Don’t ignore the ‘why’ part and state the reasons line by line objectively. And despite they say don’t cry over spilt milk, if the scenario were to happen again, would you do it differently?

3. What have I learnt?

Having an appetite for learning – be it business lessons or anything that interests you – can challenge your thinking, test your understanding, and prepare you to be more flexible and adaptable. All of these will make you a better person and also a better entrepreneur.

4. What areas do I need help with?

Acknowledging you need help is a sign of strength. At Berley, our small business accountants like to say that entrepreneurs are like superheroes who are relentless when it comes to achieving their dreams. But even superheroes can’t achieve all by themselves and they need help from a group of supporters.

We believe that business mentors are immensely valuable to small business owners. They can assist you on a myriad of business issues, help with decision-making and motivate you towards a future goal. If you are at a stage where you feel overwhelmed or you simply need someone to help you figure out what is next, this post How business mentors can help small business owners may make a good read.

5. What have I enjoyed the most?

The moments you cherished the most may not be associating with personal achievement, rather it can be something that involves others. In fact, we often hear entrepreneurs saying their biggest moments were not the time when they signed a big contract, but rather when their family members come together to celebrate an event or when they bear witness to a turning point in history.

6. Have I developed any new friendships?

Being entrepreneurs usually means you have plenty of opportunities to meet people, but not every business associate will click with you and want to deepen the friendships with you. If you come across business associates who genuinely care about you, then reciprocate and make friends.

While we are on this subject, it is also important to remind you to make an effort to stay in touch with old friends.

7. What kind of person do I want to be?

Get your pencil ready because this is likely to be long because you are now thinking about all the roles you play in work and in life.

Focus on commitment and be as specific as you can. For example, merely stating that you want to be a better boss is too ambiguous. Write down areas that you want to make a difference, like you want to be promoting a mentally healthy workplace, you want to be a collaborative leader, so on and so forth. Then you set goals on how to achieve them.

8. Where do I want my business to be this time next year?

This is all about the path your company takes and how you and your team members will help to shape its success.

Growing your business, be it organically or inorganically, requires more than pure luck and sheer hard work. It requires inspiration to set realistic goals, insights to identify a growth strategy, wisdom to uncover challenges and tackle them and most importantly, assistance from a trusted accountant and business growth strategist who will help to look at hard numbers, find ways to minimise your tax obligations legitimately, explore funding options with you, and evaluate your progress as you grow.

If you would like to know more about business growth, speak to one of our business growth specialists who have extensive insights into how businesses can grow successfully.

Berley can help your small business

Warren Buffet said the greatest measure of success is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. At Berley, our small business accountants have been working with entrepreneurs and small business owners in London for close to three decades now, and as many of them grow with us through all these years, we must be doing something right.

Our strengths, as our clients like to point out, are that we care about your business, we are responsive to your needs, and we are committed to be with you all the way.

We are also chartered accountants qualified through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), so you can expect the highest levels of professionalism.

We can help your business with:

To enquire about our services, call us on today on 020 7636 9094 or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.