Reflection, Improvement & Skin in the Game
One of the most important things we can focus on as business owners is constant and never-ending improvement.
At WWWART, coming into the Christmas holiday season we evaluate the year that has past and plan for the year ahead. We celebrate our highlights, learn from our challenges and focus on areas of improvement. We look for ways to do things better, learn new skills, read and listen to broaden our knowledge, and are always open to implementing change. Rather than focusing on the ‘what’ we do in our business, we take time to focus on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ we do business. Without reflection and innovation, we would become stagnate and obsolete.
Here’s how it works for us…
In December we schedule a brainstorming meeting for an honest appraisal of the previous year. We choose to do this with our team and then separately with a business owner that we have collaborated with for the past seven years. To make it a bit easier, throughout the year we keep a ‘Good Things Jar’, this now also includes the challenges encountered.
These are the aspects we consider:
- Key highlights
- Successful projects
- Challenges encountered
- Areas for improvement
We find these relaxed planning sessions are a valuable way to finish the year, celebrating the wins and processing the challenges. They allow us to collect data that guides our planning activities in January – when we return refreshed from a well-earned break.
Here is the Annual Review Tool we use, please feel free download, use and share.
In January, we take the information from our December brainstorming sessions and use it to fill out a SWOT analysis.
- Strengths: What did we do well
- Weaknesses: What do we need to improve
- Opportunities: Where are the opportunities
- Threats: What threats do we need to consider
Here is the SWOT Analysis tool we use, please feel free download, use and share.
When this part of the process is complete, we consider our core focuses for the upcoming year. We prioritise these into key projects and implement SMART Goals so they can be achieved.
Here is our version and focus for preparing SMART Goals:
- Specific: What is the objective we are trying to achieve
- Measurable: What is the breakdown of tasks that need to be completed
- Achievable: What resources do we need to tap into
- Realistic: What is our success criteria
- Time-based: What is the timeframe
We find this commitment to constant and never-ending improvement enhances our business. Our customers provide feedback that helps us improve, our suppliers and partner services value our brand helping us grow and our competitors respect us.
Here is the SMART Goals tool we use, please feel free download, use and share.
Annual Review Process
Our annual review process is our way of reigniting our passion for what we do. It provides a road map for the coming year enriching how we work with our clients and it strengthens our resolve. The practice of annual reflection and looking forward continues to drive our purpose to become a reliable business partner to those that we support.
If you would like to provide feedback on how we can improve please feel free to send us an email or contact us on 03 5728 3389.
Get Your Free Resources
Six articles a year focused on improving your small business. Learn about business development, resilience, brand identity and more...
Travel for the small business owner
Why maintaining your brand integrity is important
4 Tips to Avoid Other People’s Stress