Look back before you move forward

Taking note of the challenges and triumphs, as well as what worked for your business and what you could have done better in 2023 can provide a helpful foundation as you set about intentionally designing the year you want to create for your business in 2024.

Armed with valuable insights you will be better equipped to set meaningful goals and create an action plan to attain what you want to achieve in the year to come.

First reflect

Before you update your annual mission statement and set SMART goals, look back at your diary and calendar and note all the projects, activities and unforeseen events that took place. Here are 12 ideas for meaningful occurrences you may want to reflect on:

  • Start by reviewing last year’s goals and noting which goals you reached or where you fell short.
  • Reflect on your business’s unforeseen challenges.
  • Consider what did and didn’t go as planned.
  • What could you have done differently?
  • Review all the projects you successfully completed for clients, noting down each one.
  • Note every time a client or customer sent you a compliment.
  • Plot when you reached or exceed your monthly income goal.
  • Reflect on the people you engaged – either as service providers or part-time or full-time help to assist you operationally or in marketing your business.
  • What improvements did you make to your systems and processes?
  • How did recent technology streamline your business?
  • In addition to reflecting on your business’s growth, reflect on your personal growth.
  • How did you achieve work-life balance?

Celebrate your successes

Once you have plotted the significant events of the past year, it is important to celebrate your successes and recognise the hard work that went into them. It’s also important to show gratitude for those people who helped you reach your goals. Take the time to remember and list the particularly beneficial things people did for you – or when someone went the extra mile – then send each person a thank you note.

Learn from your mistakes – then move on

No business is perfect. Making mistakes or falling short in reaching a goal is inevitable but can also provide valuable personal and business growth experiences. Learning from your mistakes and viewing each of them as a positive experience can help to boost your confidence and release you from being held back by a fear of failure.

Take the time to set goals and create a game plan

Based on your reflections on successes and challenges, what goals do you want to set for your business for 2024? Consider short-term (quarterly), annual and long-term goals, and make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-prescribed).

  • Choose your focus for the year.
  • Determine what you want to change.
  • Select your revenue streams and set revenue goals.
  • Prioritise and narrow down new projects and ideas.
  • Create a step-by-step implementation plan.
  • Establish the people-power you will need onboard to reach your goals.

Communicate your goals with your team

It is important to brief your team on your goals and strategy for the new year. It is powerful to inspire and engage your whole team in reaching business goals so that each team member knows and understands the important part they will play in the company’s success in 2024. It is equally powerful to encourage collaboration between team members, emphasising the connection between teamwork and reaching company goals.