How to End to Begin Again

By Tomilola Aiyepola

Running a start-up can be one of the most hectic things to do. It is no small work for both the owners and other employees. Now, we are at that time of the year again. It’s time to end what began 12 months ago. It’s time to take stock, review profits or losses and generally see how well you have done with your business in the past year. It is important that when rounding up the business year, you do it with the beginning in mind, that is, the coming year. Rounding up a year without proper planning for the next year can be disastrous even to huge multinationals, how much more start-ups?

In essence, let us look again at basic things every start-up must to look out for while rounding up their business year.

  • Go through the books: Go through your financial statement(s). Understand what went in and out of the company and why. Examine how much profit or loss you made and why. Be sure to understand the reason for every expense and what you can do to either reduce, increase or eliminate them. The services of an auditing firm can be employed for this and it can also be done in-house if the resources and skills are available.


  • Compare: The next thing to do is to strike a comparison. Compare your profits or losses for the year to those of previous years. Understand if there is an increase or a decrease and why. Evaluate what you did differently that brought more profit or steps you took to incur any losses.


  • Reconcile: As a business, goals were definitely set at the beginning of the business year. This is the time to reconcile those goals with your actual accomplishments. How much of your goals were you able to achieve as a business? How well were you able to smash them? What hindered the accomplishment of the underachieved goals? If there are outstanding accomplishments, this is also the time to celebrate them. Share such accomplishments with your staff and reward them if possible.


  • Review: This is the best time for a total review. Review your operations and systems. Ask questions and do proper research to determine what has been working and what hasn’t. Review the entire value chain of your business. You would want to remove anything that can become a stumbling block in the coming year. Be sure to also get customer reviews and feedback on your product or service in the past year.


  • Plan: Now this is where you make use of all the information you have gotten from doing all above. You have to plan for the coming year in line with these information. Plan new tactics and strategies to replace the ones that resulted in losses. Make plans to improve the systems that helped incur profit in order to make even more profit. Your plans must also reflect improvements on whatever complaints you may have received from customers in their reviews. Planning cannot be overemphasized because if you fail to plan, then you are most definitely planning to fail.


  • Set goals: Finally, it is time to set goals for the coming year. Be sure to include goals that you were unable to accomplish this year and make adequate plans against whatever made it impossible before. Aim high but also set realistic goals.

A smart start-up would take all these into consideration when rounding up the business year to avoid sad stories in the coming year. Now is the time!

Seasons’ greetings to you. Have a goal-smashing year ahead.

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