In just two weeks, 2014 will be over and done. You can still accomplish a lot if you choose, even with the intervening holidays, but there’s one must-do task to set yourself up for a strong 2015: your year in review.
Just about every successful person I know or know of considers the year-end review a critical piece of preparing for the upcoming year. There’s no single way to conduct this review, though you can get a flavor of the process through Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review and his suggestions on how you can perform the same process.
When it comes to marketing and business development, you can streamline the process by asking three simple questions.
- What should I stop doing? What marketing initiatives flopped? What did you dislike doing? Which activities delivered results that weren’t proportional to the time (and perhaps money) investment required? These are activities you should stop doing.Just a word to the wise here: be sure that you’ve given an activity enough consistent effort to judge it fairly. If you just started working within an organization in October and you’ve only attended one meeting, you probably don’t have sufficient data to make a determination.
- What should I start doing? This is where you’ll revisit your business development plan. Which activities fit your marketing identity and are well calculated to reach your ideal client? Most likely, you should start implementing some subset of those activities.
- What should I continue doing? In other words, what worked well? Consider results in terms of building your brand, raising your profile in the marketplace, building valuable relationships, and landing new business.
Year’s end is an ideal time to ask yourself these questions, and the process need not be fancy. Grab a pad (whether i- or yellow) and make a few notes. Be sure you have your calendar and your business development plan at hand to jog your memory and measure your outcomes. And while you’re at it, schedule a midyear review now for late June or early July 2015.