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8 Essential Questions to Ask Before Making Plans for a New Year in Your Business

‘Tis the season for hot cocoa and being merry while singing along to “Mariah’s All I want for Christmas is You” for the 74848th time.

If you’re a business owner, it’s also the time you start dreaming and planning for the new year ahead.

As someone who’s number one Clifton Strength is futuristic, let’s just say that I have a love LOVE relationship with this time of the year in my business. All the ideas! All the plans! All the dry erase markers!

However, before I get into my full planning bliss, there’s one thing that is required.

My official (and brutally honest) end of year evaluation.

As Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been” and I find this to be true when it comes to business.

It’s also why I want to share the eight questions I as myself before I start planning for the new year ahead.

These questions will allow you to:

  1. Clearly see what DID NOT work in 2021 so you don’t repeat patterns that don’t serve you,  your goals or your business.
  2. Get laser focused on what DID work in 2021 so you can better maximize your time and effort and/or investments in those areas.
  3. Gain clarity on what needs to happen in order to step into your next level of growth.

Are you ready for it?

Let’s get to it!

Questions to Ask in Your End of Year Business Evaluation

These questions should take about twenty minutes to fill out and the more open you are with yourself, the more lessons and knowledge you will be able to take away from this year, no matter what it looked like.

1. What changes did I make to improve myself this past year?
No one achieves success by standing still. This is your chance to take a look at what positive changes you have made for yourself that have allowed you to grow on a personal level.

This could include investments you made, in-person or virtual events you attended, help you sought out or negative habits you let go of.

Use this as the time to honor taking those steps forward to a better YOU.

2. What do I feel good about? What went right for me this year?
One thing we don’t do enough is celebrate our WINS! Go ahead and use this as the time to get everything out that lit you up this year in your business.

This could include new connections made, serving the most incredible group of people in the course you launched this year, getting featured by one of your favorite publications, selling out your program, increasing your profit percentage… your choice and it all counts!

QUICK TIP: I keep a glass jar by my desk and write on a note card every time I feel excited about a win during the year. At the end of the year, I go back and read through them all. Not only does it make this question easy for me to answer but it feels good to read through each December. This could be something you start up for 2022

3. Looking back, what didn’t work out as planned this year?
Let’s be real here, things don’t always go as planned. This is the opportunity to use what didn’t work as planned to your advantage in order to make better decisions for the new year ahead!

This could include anything from a flopped launch, an investment that didn’t work the way you thought it would, an offer that you were no longer in alignment with, etc.

List anything that comes to mind for you.

4. What did I learn from what didn’t work out as planned this year?
While we are going to make an intentional choice to let go of what didn’t work as planned, you’ll want to keep the lessons you learn in the process. Those lessons are where the true magic is in this journey and this is your opportunity to soak up all that newfound knowledge from this year!

Outsourced to a flakey person that made you want to pull out your hair?
Maybe you learned how to better vet new team members.

Invested in something that didn’t give an ROI?
Maybe you learned that you need a different style of support.

Didn’t hit your launch goals?
Maybe you learned that you need to increase your visibility in order to have a larger audience to launch to.

No matter what the situation was or how bad it may have felt in the moment, there was a lesson to learn from it that will serve you for years to come. That is, if you allow it to.

5. What offers did I love serving my audience with this year?
Not all offers are created equal. Some we will love, others we won’t and a few will have run their course in our businesses.

This is where you can evaluate all your offers for the year for yourself so that you only take the ones that both light you up and convert into the new year.

If it doesn’t light you up, this is the time to let it go.
If it does light you up but isn’t converting as much as you’d like, this tells you where you need to get more support with that offer in the new year.

6. What social platforms and content styles worked best for me this year?
Just like your offers, this is the time to take a look at what social platforms and content styles you enjoyed and saw growth with throughout this past year.

This will show you where to focus more of your attention in the new year by doubling down on what’s working for you vs the latest trend online. 

7. What do I need to let go of in the new year?
Based on what worked and what didn’t work for you this year, you can now let go of anything that no longer deserves your time, money and/or energy.

This could include lowering the amount of social accounts you’re trying to maintain, taking on less clients, team members that aren’t working out, trying to do everything yourself, etc.

Be honest with yourself around what you need to let go of to grow.

8. What do I need to focus more on in the new year?
Now that you know where you’re time, money and/or energy isn’t going anymore, where should it go in order to accelerate your growth?

This could include bringing on a coach that can support you with your goals, focusing on building your team, launching your membership, maximizing the live streams you’ve been doing each week more, etc.

What to Do With Your End Of Year Business Evaluation

Now, you officially have what you need in order to start planning for the new year ahead.

If you are using the planning process inside Clients to Courses® you can now choose your revenue goals and map out the offers, systems and visibility elements needed in order to make it all come together, with the most powerful knowledge you could have in order to make decisions that work for YOU.

Need convincing?

By using these questions…

  • You now not only know which offers will get you to your income goal but the offers that will get you there and feeling good about it as well because we’re leaving the rest behind.
  • You’ll be fully empowered with the type of content that you should be focused on creating and the social media platforms to share that content that have already proven to work for you.
  • You’ll have already identified what you need to focus on (and what to stop giving your attention) into the new year in order to turn your goal into a reality, without spinning your wheels.

And, with all the lessons you’ve learned along the way, you’ll find yourself thankful for the unexpected that this past year brought in the process!

Win, win, right?

So, if you haven’t planned out your new year yet, I want to encourage you to ask these questions FIRST, in order to customize your plans to your individual business and needs.

If you’ve already planned out your new year, go through these questions and then review your plan to see if it matches what came up for you. 

This will make sure you’re heading into the new year utilizing all of the amazing information available to you from this past year.

There are lessons in everything we do.


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