It is the end of the first quarter and time to check the score.
Just as planning your goals for the coming year should always begin with a look back at the year in review, so planning your business for the rest of this year should take a look back at the first quarter. Business planning isn’t just a numbers game, but also an accounting and analysis of the year’s overall progress.
Begin by asking the hard questions:
• What happened in your business this past year? Past quarter?
• Did you meet your goals? If not, why not?
• How did you accomplish your successful goals?
• Where did your business come from?
From there, analyze the specific sources of success or failure.
• Were your lead systems facilitating your goals?
• Did the number of listings support the number of closed transactions?
And yes, now analyze the numbers: closed sales, closed commissions, expenses, how many listings taken, how many listings sold, how many active? Quantify where the business came from in comparison to your goals: how many sales from sphere? Referrals? Websites? Print media? Signs? Other lead-generating systems?
Also take a look at the team. Who do you have working with you and what are their roles? Did they support last year’s business? Did they reach their goals? Were their goals congruous with your business plan? And let’s not forget that important last count: the one where you evaluate yourself, including how many hours you worked per week and how much vacation time you took during the course of the year or quarter.
Think of this business in review task as a report to imaginary shareholders in the business. They would need a reminder of last year’s goals, a comparison to the actual numbers, an analysis of the year’s operations and relative success, and an evaluation, ultimately, of your business strategy. The success of the past year forms the basis of your business plan for the next. You are able to determine if you need to completely overhaul your “to-do” list or merely fine-tune it. You are able to focus on the past year’s strengths in order to maximize their results for the future. You are also able to isolate weaknesses or “misses” and problem-solve them to a positive resolution.
The business “flashback” in review cannot be ignored if you hope to continue to grow your business into tomorrow. The necessary steps to planning for that future can only happen once you’ve seen what came before. That is when you learn not just from your mistakes, but from your successes. It’s then you can set the new goal and create the plan. It’s then you can focus your time and resources. It’s then you can make accountability a part of the process. It’s then you can move forward with the confidence that you have planned for an incredible year ahead.