Last month, we brought you a blog on our “Harvest Program” and discussed the importance of taking time to cultivate your successes, reflect on the “failures,” and prioritize what’s left. This month, we’re challenging you to take things up a notch! That’s right, as we stare down the starting days of December it’s time to start auditing your business.
What does that mean exactly?
An audit is defined as: “an objective examination and evaluation of an organization to make sure that the records are a fair and accurate representation of the transactions they claim to represent.” In other words? Auditing your business means taking the time to review how far you’ve come and how far you have to go; how you got here and whether or not those steps can be replicated to ensure future successes.
One of the best tools I’ve come to develop for auditing my business is the CEO Day questionnaire. A quick recap for those who are not familiar with CEO Days: CEO Days are a day off from the “in the moment” responsibilities. A change in mindset that forces you to, again, work ON your business, not just in it. It has been proven that the mindset with which you approach any endeavour will have a direct and significant impact on its outcome. CEO Days allow you to sit, think, and strategize. To re-align yourself with the goals and targets you have for your business, and to develop innovative ideas and new KPIs that will further the progression of growth and revenue generation. Focusing on and centering your mindset for success!
When sitting down to audit your business, I challenge you to consider the following,
1. What was your business best at this year? Is it a repeatable process? Can it be?
Celebrate – celebrate – celebrate! It is critically important during an audit that you take the time to celebrate the successes and to determine how they were achieved so that you can repeat the processes, projects, and initiatives that got you to this point. If in reviewing your success you find that your most significant achievements are things not easily repeatable it’s time to sit down and understand why this was a one-time success and what can be done to make this more repeatable in future.
2. What was your business worst at this year? What needs to happen to fix it?
Be brutally honest with yourself – what didn’t work, why? By reviewing and understanding the failures, you can better prepare yourself to avoid them or more easily overcome them in the weeks, months, and years to follow. Also, by devising a strategic plan of “attack” where you focus time, energy, and resources specifically on areas you struggled in this year you will be better equipped to correct them.
3. What are the measures of your success, what metric did you least like hearing about this year, and what do you plan to do about it?
What does success mean to you? Is it quantifiable – revenue based? Maybe your success is finally landing that client you’ve been pursuing since day one. To understand how far you’ve come and where you have left to go you must first be aware of the measures of your success and what they mean to you! Furthermore, in order to accurately review your successes, you must be mindful of the areas of your business where you are “lacking.” Take a critical look at the metrics you least enjoyed receiving this year and determine how you can best ready yourself to improve on them in the new year.
4. What motivated you to start your business – what is your “why” and if your perfect competitor opened up across the street from you, what would that look like for your business? How do you differentiate from them?
To complete an effective audit, be sure to cycle all the way back to the beginning – for some of you this will be a longer stretch than others – but it’s important to remind yourself of your why, the original motivation for your business, and any additional reasons that have come up over the years. By clearly defining your motivations you can more accurately assess how closely you have remained to your “why,” how far you’ve strayed, or how much you’ve grown from the initial “goal” of your business. Also, by taking the time to assess what your competitor looks like, how you differentiate, and how affected your business might be by their presence you can determine what offerings you are excelling in and where you need to more closely focus your energy to ensure you are standing far and away as a leader in your sector. The one people choose to go to, even when there are options readily and easily available.
For those who are still operating on an “annualized” planning schedule, be sure to take a critical look at where you began at the start of the year and how far you have to go to accomplish the goals you set for 2018 before the New Year arrives.
For those who have transitioned to the 12-Week-Year, be sure to take a look at not only where you are in this current cycle, but also how the achievements you’ve attained in previous cycles have helped you to get further ahead in less time.
Together, we can get focused on SUCCESS and start preparing to make 2019 the best yet! Our “CEO Day” worksheet is available now and provides you the tools you need to work through all of the above, positioning yourself, your business, your team for the greatest possible outcome! If you are interested in this, or in learning how to adapt the 12-week-year into your organization to start achieving more in 12-weeks than most do in 12-months email firstname.lastname@example.org today!