When it comes to any type of business, the idea is to work smarter, not harder. Business owners often conduct reviews at the beginning or end of a year to ascertain how productive they have been. This is a good thing, but what about performing a mid-year review? There are various reasons why a mid-year review would be helpful, and we’ll propose some as well as some guidance in how to conduct a successful review. Don’t let the year pass by without placing a finger on the pulse of your business. A healthy review can boost your company’s overall health just in time for summer campaigns.
The Purpose of a Business Review
The overall purpose for conducting business reviews is to discover just how your company and its various components have been performing. It’s not enough to look at the books at the end of the year and say, “Well, we finished in the black. We’re doing great!” Smart business owners know that constantly evaluating their performance by a series of different metrics can reveal areas where we’re actually hurting our business instead of helping. Where we need to improve, even who may be slowing us down, are vital factors to discover.
A business review is designed to help you:

  • Evaluate performance on many levels
  • Reallocate resources to better achieve goals
  • Make more money
  • Take corrective actions
  • Provide leadership for your team
  • Provide focus for your team

Why Should You Conduct a Mid-Year Review of Your Business?
Conducting a review of your business is wise. But, why conduct a mid-year review, especially if you already conduct end-of-year reviews? Allow me to offer some significant reasons.
Reviewing now provides more time to implement changes.  What good is a review without changing what you discover is broken? And if something is broken (or simply needing a course-correction), why wait until the end of the year to fix it? That procrastination could cost you in productivity and profits.
You can act while other businesses are procrastinating. Many businesses to not conduct mid-year reviews. So, if you do, and it reveals that trends are changing or some other important aspect of business needs addressing, you will catch it now and be ahead of the game. He (or she) who snoozes – loses.
You probably have a good idea of how the year is going. Nothing good comes from waiting for more numbers and facts. After six months, you know things are trending. Now is the time to take a look at why and see what adjustments must be made. Then, compare those numbers with your end-of-year numbers to determine how the course corrections you made mid-year made a difference.
Opportunities may exist now that will disappear later. The breakneck pace of business doesn’t wait for you to play catchup. Even a single month can produce changes that can materially affect your business. A mid-year review allows you to reevaluate in light of new trends and opportunities. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until the mid-year review rolls around. But the check at the six month point is a deliberate search for what you could be missing.
A review offers an opportunity to re-grip the reins. The fast-paced business world is at times a wild ride. Even when you are riding high and things are humming along nicely, a mid-year review allows time to take a breath and grasp the reins even tighter for what may be coming ahead. That break and deliberate review of everything from top to bottom provides breathing room and time to prepare for necessary changes.
What Should You Focus On in a Mid-Year Review?
Here is a basic format to follow when performing your mid-year review. You may have another procedure you follow, but all reviews should follow these same basic guidelines.

  1. Begin with Gratitude– Always begin by expressing gratitude for the hard work of your team, no matter how things look. Specific examples of teamwork and performance should be highlighted and rewarded. This also sets a great frame of mind for the rest of the review. No team be sure to acknowledge your own hard work.
  2. Review Goals– What goals were set for the year? Are those goals still viable? Do they need further review, adjustment, or discarding? Only after we are sure about what we are shooting at can we measure the effectiveness of our aim.
  3. Look at the Numbers– Now it’s time to examine the hard numbers that reveal what (and who) is working and what isn’t. Each of these metrics (and there can be more) should have monthly and yearly goals. Each area may also include a measurement of personnel effectiveness.
    1. Performance – How is it working?
    2. Production – How many did we build?
    3. Sales – How many did we sell?
    4. Services – How many did we serve?
    5. Money – How much did we make?
  4. Review Systems– Are your processes running smoothly and efficiently? Could there be better communication? Is training meeting your needs? Is each system meeting or exceeding expectations?
  5. Gather Input– Mid-year reviews are also great times to listen as well as ask questions. Gather input from every team member with guarantees of no rebuttal or reprisal for negative input. Talk to clients as well as employees/team members. Often, the numbers do not tell the whole story about the state of your business.
  6. Determine Course Corrections– After asking hundreds of questions, recording answers, and crunching numbers too numerous to count, ask, “So what?” All this information you have gathered is pointing to what needed adjustments or course corrections? What are the obvious changes to be made first? How should you order and schedule the other needed changes. Make a plan for what needs changing.
  7. Implement Any Changes– This is when the entire process proves its value. Now that you have determined what needs to be fixed, FIX IT. Some items may be simply fixed right away, others may take steps over time. But whatever you discovered that is holding you back from your absolute best, carry out the necessary changes to eliminate such obstacles and move forward.

Simple, really. Well, no, not really. But the end results are worth your efforts. Your business will constantly become more effective, better streamlined, and more profitable. Isn’t that what you’re after?
What process do you follow when conducting mid-year or end-of-year business reviews? Do you have any success stories to share? Our readers would love to see your comments in the area below.

About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”