The New Year gives SME’s the chance for a fresh start. And while the excitement of new opportunities is upon us, it’s the perfect time to forge a plan for the rest of the year.
There are several routes a business can take when reviewing its previous year’s performance; from setting individual staff KPIs (key performance indicators) that aid financial growth, to overall strategic business goals which each division may work towards, however you choose to utilise this information, reviewing performance has never been so important.
Why should my business start planning so early?
Quarter one is the perfect time to look back at the previous year’s targets and budgets. Before you look forward, for any business it’s imperative to look back. What worked well and what didn’t? Where did your company surpass expectations and where did it fall short? Be critical; this is key. If the business missed its targets, why was this? It’s necessary to ask these questions in order to be able to set goals, both financial and strategic, for the next year.
Firstly, take a look at the direction your business is heading in and where you would like it to go. Do the two correlate? As an SME you must create objectives that work for you. By using the SMART methodology, you can ensure these are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Having concise objectives allows SME’s to have structured action steps within the roadmap to achieving the long-term business goals.
When reviewing performance and setting goals, think carefully about how you quantify success. What does this look like to your business? From the sum of overall sales and financial growth to number of new customers onboarded, there are a multitude of ways to track success.
Could success for you be investing in new systems and or CRM tools to streamline internal processes? Consider speaking with teams individually once you have reviewed your overall business performance. Employers often neglect the input of employees when in fact, this can provide a company further insight into the general day-to-day operations.
By reviewing performance and planning in quarter one, your business may discover early on the potential opportunity to grow internally too. This could be earmarking budget for additional members of staff if resource is short in teams. There also may be a need for further staff training if KPIs were not met in the previous year. An IBM study discovered that employees who do not feel they are developing in a company are 12 times more likely to leave it. By investing in your workforce not only will staff retention remain high, you are more likely to improve overall employee performance, thus having a greater chance of achieving company objectives.
The importance of reviewing performance is undeniable for an SME, not only for financial growth, but consequently to achieve those key business goals.