Successful entrepreneurs know that growth planning is a key step for a startup. But before you can plan for growth, you need to know how much progress you’ve made and whether you’re achieving your goals.
A year-end review gives new startups a way to measure and celebrate success. It’s also an essential planning tool for the next year. Give yourself plenty of time to conduct your year-end review and allocate at least an hour or two daily for a week to ensure a thorough process. Use these strategies to guide you.
To keep your year-end review on track, start by defining your objectives. A few questions to consider:
- How will you measure success? Know your key performance indicators (KPIs).
- What results will you examine? Determine which data to analyze.
- How will you measure intangible areas? Company culture and employee satisfaction may be difficult to gauge, especially for new startups. Don’t overlook these important factors.
Make a List of Questions
Once you collect the data, you have to put it in the right context. Know ahead of time the questions you want to answer when you’re done with the review.
Here are some examples:
- What are the company’s achievements, and how did they impact growth?
- How can the lessons learned this year translate into growth?
- What are the biggest disappointments and areas for improvement?
- What can be learned from mistakes made?
- How can these findings be used to plan for next year?
Analyze Your Metrics
Financial statements and customer growth and retention are a few of the main focus areas for startups. Here are some additional KPIs to consider, based on your situation:
- Total number of customers and number of new customers if this isn’t your first year in business
- Revenue and profit for the year
- Revenue and profit breakdown by product or service line
- Monthly revenue growth rate and annual growth rate (if applicable)
- Unique visitors to your site and monthly growth rate
Conduct a “People” Review
People are one of your most valuable assets, and the year-end review is a good time to evaluate how well your team is doing. Employee performance reviews may be part of your year-end activities, and for the purpose of business planning, you want to ask big-picture questions.
- Company culture: What did you do to cultivate a positive culture and build strong company values?
- Productivity: Do your employees have what they need to be productive?
Involve the Team
Just like you can’t build a company on your own, your year-end review shouldn’t be done solo. Involve your team in helping you assess achievements, and brainstorm new goals and initiatives with them. Make sure you celebrate your hard work together.
Set Yourself Up for Future Success
For a new startup that is growing, work space is an ever-evolving component of your business. As your business and team grow, so do your office furniture needs. But the expansion of your physical office could be a challenge to revenue growth if you’re not careful. Buying furniture ties up capital that could be reinvested in the business, and having to move or store furniture that you no longer need can be a drain on resources.
Renting furniture is a convenient solution to these challenges. When you rent from CORT, there is no large up-front investment—just a monthly payment that allows you to keep your cash flow positive and put profits back into growing your business. And when your needs change, you can simply add or subtract pieces from your lease. CORT will deliver and set up all items and pick them up when they’re no longer needed. Turn to CORT for all your office furniture needs, from desks and chairs to conference tables, to ensure you have a positive year-end review this year, and the next.