What to Review In Your Business Before the Year Ends

Jenna Kutcher 

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December 2, 2021


Once we get to this point in the year, time just seems to speed up as the days race by at an impossible pace until the holidays are done. It feels like we could blink and January 1st will be here already! Anyone else in complete shock how that ALWAYS happens? I like to use this period of time to reflect on what’s happened all year in order to plan for the next 365-day chapter of life. So today, I want to share what to review in your business before the year ends to embark on the new year with a fresh perspective and a solid understanding of how things are running. 

5 things to review in your business before the year ends

Here are the top 5 things I look back on to make sure we are making sound decisions for the business going forward!

01. Look back at what worked (and what didn’t)

I love reviewing the year from a birds’ eye perspective and just taking a look at all of the big pushes, launches, partnerships, and projects we had a hand in from January until now. It’s helpful to literally sit down, list them all out, and write down the impact and end result of everything you worked on this year from a big-picture view. Was anything a miss in terms of effort, time, resources, or money spent vs. what you gained in return? Which ones were a win?

Pareto’s Principle says that 10% of your efforts yield 90% of your results. Is your current creation, strategy, and schedule supporting what is actually moving the needle? Are you spending the most time on the offers, avenues, and channels that drive the most results?

If (or I should say when, because we all have pieces we could ultimately hone or leave behind) you find that not everything is the best use of your resources, then it might be smart to part ways with certain pushes or replace them with something that makes more sense. 

RELATED: These 3 Things Indicate it’s Time to Pivot… or Quit

02. Check in on your Profit and Loss statements

If you’re not in the habit of monthly bookkeeping and you wait to know your numbers until tax time, I can’t urge you strongly enough to start tracking your money in vs. money out (aka, profit and loss statements). And now is the PERFECT time to begin, before the year ends and as you’re taking stock of other pieces of your biz.

So many people work their tails off all year, only to learn that they are barely (or not) profitable. Either making time to do your books monthly OR hiring a bookkeeper can help you take inventory each month to assess how you’re financially performing and where you might need to add more revenue opportunities or cut back on certain expenses. 

If you’re not in a place to hire a bookkeeper, I can’t recommend Honeybook enough. It’s one place where you can do all of your invoicing, online payments, communication, reminders and client management and I signed up for it on December 31st years ago. It’s been a game-changer for me and it integrates with accounting software like Quickbooks and gives you earnings statements you can use for tax time. You can save 50% off your annual subscription and try it out for free, just click here for more info (and to see exactly how I use it!) 

03. Analyze your support

If you have a team, take time to do a little review of how your team members or contractors are doing and check in with them. Sometimes we can let our businesses just run on autopilot, including our team members, when there may be inefficiencies or places that could use tweaking.

First and foremost, are your team members working in their genius spot? Are they still in the right role? Could they take more off of your plate, or do they need to do less in areas that don’t feel like a match any longer? Is it time for a raise? Do they have any ideas on things you could change or do better? Do you need to make a new hire?

The end of the year offers a perspective and time for reflection. Open up the conversation and invite in others to reflect with you, as well. I can’t tell you how many incredible ideas we’ve implemented for my business based simply on conversations with my team and checking in with their own needs, desires, and goals.

Here are some questions you can jot down and use in your year-end convos with your own team members:

  • What lights you up about your role?
  • Is there anything you would change about your role?
  • Are there any projects or pieces of the business you’d like more / less of a hand in?
  • Do you have ideas for growth or innovation in your department / position / the business overall?
  • Are there any tools or education that would make your job easier to do?
  • Do you feel like your time is being used well for the most part?
  • What can I do to make sure you feel even more supported in your role?

04. Review your subscriptions and expenses

Take this time to analyze your expenses (even the most seemingly small or inconsequential) to ensure that you’re actually putting to use what you’re paying for. As you wrap up the year, there’s nothing that feels better than making sure every dollar is attached to an outcome you desire. It never fails that I find some app or service that I forgot I signed up for and no longer use, even though I pay $15 a month for it.

If you’re not totally sure what you’re paying for, do a credit card audit of the last 90 days. Are there any subscriptions or services you signed up for but aren’t using? Are there other platforms out there that could help you consolidate what you’re using? Looking at your expenses closely might reveal opportunities to save money or make a leap to a different option that might be better suited for you as your biz adapts and grows.

We actually use a Google Sheet now called our “Tool Tracker” that houses ALL of our subscriptions in one place. It notes what the tool or subscription is, who owns it on the team, what it’s used for, the subscription price, when that subscription renews, AND the team’s satisfaction with it. I can’t recommend this enough if you’re balancing multiple paid subscriptions or tools so you can stay on top of what’s actually being used!

05. Define your direction

Mmm, this may be my favorite end-of-year review. I love looking back on what’s happened in the past year, but I absolutely crave the time to look ahead and make sure the actions I’m taking NOW still support the direction I want for my future. It’s important to not just look at money but to also account for your time, energy, effort, and alignment. 

Take time to reflect on the work you LOVED or the things you’re curious about or dying to do, and at the same time, think through the commitments you made that you ultimately dreaded or that drained you. This simple yet profound reflection is a great thing to see if a pivot or a course correction is in need. If your priorities are changing with the season, this can help you as you creatively move forward and will give you an opportunity to define what you’ll say yes to and no to next year.

Ahhh, does anyone else feel like you just got out of the sauna after doing this kind of review and reflection? It lets your mind and actions recalibrate so that you can be certain everything is tracking for the future you seek to build. I know that I’m ready for another 12 months now, and I am so pumped to step into the new year with intention, purpose, and renewed vision with you!

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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