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“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”
Think of an effective end-of-year business review as an executive summary for the entire year. What were the key takeaways?
The presentation should include high-level information such as an evaluation of goals, achievements, rates of growth, obstacles and setbacks, future goals, and financial data. While it might be easier to simply list all of the year-end parameters in a single, lengthy report, that type of presentation is unlikely to impress audiences — regardless of whether they're clients, employees, management or investors.
A high-quality annual business review should feature an overarching summary reflecting the big picture for the company.
Before the year’s goals can be evaluated, audiences need to know what they were. The second portion of the year-end business review should summarize the year’s goals.
The list of goals can be obtained from the prior year’s annual review (if that's available), but keep in mind they may have been modified or updated throughout the past 12 months. Explain what each goal was, and why it was chosen (its importance), before you dive in to the results.
It's important to celebrate a company’s successes. Once you've mapped out what the year's goals were, you can talk about if and how you accomplished them.
No annual business review could possibly be complete without featuring the year’s highlight reel. What goals were accomplished, and what were the missed opportunities, in the previous 12 months? What can be learned from the company’s successes?
Numbers tell a big part of a company’s story, and they are a vital piece of the annual business review puzzle. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) and results come in to play.
Present data on the company’s performance in the form of financial statements, rates of growth and retention, customer satisfaction metrics and any other data that supports the business' story over the past year. KPIs are an easy way to assess performance throughout the year, so you should know exactly where you stand when it comes time for the end-of-year review.
A round-up of upcoming company goals is a key element to any actionable year-end review. Objectives from the prior year might remain in place, if they weren't met, or you may shift your goals based on accomplishments, failures, or changing market conditions.
By sharing your new objectives, you're holding your team accountable to work towards them. To that end, once you've defined your goals for the upcoming year, it's time to explain how you and your team plan to achieve them. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.
It’s not enough to simply create a list of goals for the upcoming year. You must also share how those goals will be met. An effective end-of-year business review should include a plan of execution for the upcoming year.
What processes will be put in place to meet next year’s goals? What budget will be allocated to implement these plans, what team members or resources are required, and what's the estimated timeline?
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