Reflecting on success: how to do an end-of-year review

Reflecting on success: how to do an end-of-year review
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Fri 22nd Mar 2024

As the financial year comes to a close, your end-of-year review is a chance to look back at what your London business has achieved over the last 12 months.

By assessing your business each year – from your finances to your success in meeting the goals you set this time last year – you can take note of what you did right, what you could change and what you should add to your plan for 2024–2025.

Why do an end-of-year review?

An end-of-year review lets you measure your progress, set new targets and find ways to make your small business work for you.

You can judge how productive you've been and get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can make more informed decisions for how you'll tackle the next 12 months.

An end-of-year review is a great way to ensure your goals and targets are the right ones. You can reassess your long-term plans and make any adjustments. That can also help you stay focused and motivated for the year ahead.

How to do an end-of-year review

Gather all the information you need

This may include financial documents like profit and loss statements, cash-flow statements and balance sheets. You might also have information on your sales and marketing, as well as customer feedback, for example.

Reflect on the past 12 months

Review what you've done in the last year. Celebrate the milestones you've achieved – maybe you surpassed a sales target or launched a new product, for example. Acknowledge the hard work that went into these accomplishments.

Reflecting in this way lets you identify the decisions that led to your success. Knowing what works well means you can repeat it in the future and make even more progress.

You'll also get a fresh perspective on areas to improve. Understanding where you didn't quite get the results you wanted is really important. It shows you what changes you can make to ensure your business thrives in the year ahead.

Look at your fundamentals

Your fundamentals are the elements at the heart of your business, such as your:

  • Mission and vision: these set out your business purpose and direction. Make sure your mission is still relevant and your vision is realistic in the current market.

  • Values and culture: your values guide how you (and your staff, if you have them) behave, make decisions and interact with customers and each other. Are they creating a positive, inclusive working environment that fits with your goals? If not, you can adjust these.

  • Processes: are there things stopping you from working well or growing as a business? Look for ways to change or improve anything that makes you less productive or efficient.

  • Reputation and brand: look at feedback, industry trends and how your customers in London perceive you. Build a marketing plan that based on the positive aspects of your brand.

Examine your finances

A key part of your end-of-year review is assessing your financial performance. Take those financial documents you gathered earlier and study them.

Did you generate the turnover you thought you would? Are your profits and cash flow as expected? Look for things that may need your attention and set realistic financial goals for the upcoming year.

Use your end-of-year review to lay out a clear plan and set targets for the next year.


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