Annual Business Review 2015
This time last year I wrote a similar post for this blog titled Why 2014 Was My Best Year Ever. During the course of 2014, I moved from my business being a dream through the start-up phase to being on the edge of exponential growth. I attributed my successful year to:
- Setting a clear vision and goals;
- Taking steady, consistent action;
- Getting highly focused;
- Receiving support through a Business Mastermind Group.
When I reflect back on 2014, I realise that this success was due in very large part to being a member of a Mastermind Group. Why do I say this? Well because I always turned up to our monthly meetings having completed exactly what I said I’d would. The 1 month and 3 month goals I set at each meeting kept my focus anchored firmly on my vision. This meant that I took steady, consistent action every single month in the direction of my goals. It was this consistent action that created momentum and meant that I was fully booked for 1:1 business coaching by August.
These were the 3 goals I set for 2015. Did I achieve them? Well, I’ll let you know at the end of this post!
- Get my “Your Plan For Profit’ Programme to a wider audience of business owners across the globe.
- Set up a ‘Your Plan For Profit’ mastermind group and support them to ‘master business,’ go for their highest goals and have their very best year ever.
- Travel more with my business – the US is high on the list.
But before I do, in my blog post 9 Questions To Ask as Part Of Your Annual Review, I said that I’d share my own answers. So here goes!
1. If the last year were a film or book of my business, what type would it be?
I had planned for 2015 to be an action adventure but often times it felt more like a mystery. I struggled to work out the right visual representation for my brand, I wasn’t always sure who my ideal customers were and it took months for me to come up with a content marketing strategy I had confidence in. After what seems like a lot of twists and turns in the road, I eventually settled on the answers to these dilemmas.
2. What were the two or three major recurring themes of 2015? Have these themes been present in previous years?
My two recurring themes of 2015 were: (a) Not taking enough time out for rest and relaxation; (b) Not trusting my judgement about people, only to discover later that my instincts were right. And yes, these are regularly recurring themes. How frustrating is that?!
I love my business so it’s very easy to allow this to become all consuming, and forget that’s there’s a wider world out there. So in 2016, I'm going to be far more intentional about taking time away from my business. My other big reminder was that if I ignore what my gut is telling me about a person, 9 times out of 10, I’m proven correct. Earlier this year, I almost made a colossal error of judgement about working with a prominent coach, but thankfully I had my very own guardian angel looking out for me.
3. What did I accomplish this year that I’m the most proud of?
Without a doubt, this has to be the results and ROI my clients have been getting as a result of working with me. I wrote about this in this article, 12 Reasons My Clients Get Exceptional Results. My coaching methodology is based on the way I ran my business as former CEO, and is focused on 7 key principles, mission, mastery, money, marketing, model, mindset and momentum. And a lot of hard work! I am so proud of the accomplishments of my clients, and looking forward to the rewards 2016 will bring them.
4. What should I acknowledge myself for?
One of my biggest mistakes in 2015 was under-valuing my knowledge and experience. I got to a point in my CEO role where I was really unhappy in my job. And in my desire to change things up, I forgot the value of all the experience I’d accumulated over 25 years in corporate life. This is not a mistake I’ll be making again.
5. What disappointments or regrets did I have this year?
I didn’t prioritise building my email list. Let me put this in context. I’m signed up to receive newsletters from a number of business coaches – part market research and part people I follow. What drives me mad is the relentless focus on selling to the detriment of giving value. I don’t want to receive constant emails selling me products, but the received wisdom has been that this is what you should do. I was therefore delighted to read that one of the key marketing trends for 2016 is to stop focusing on selling all the time and to concentrate on adding value. I’m sticking to the strategy I mapped out in the autumn!
6. What was missing from my business in 2015?
This one really surprised me. I didn’t have a clear enough vision for the type of business I wanted to create. This was driven home to me watching Michael Hyatt’s Impact & Influence Summit back in the autumn. Michael is very clear and intentional about his mission. And he has been busy building out a phenomenal platform. I’ve been following Michael’s work on and off for the past 10 years. What I came to realise is that whilst my mission is entirely different to Michael’s I really admire the way he runs his business. Joining his Platform University was the best business decision I made all year.
7. What were the major business lessons you learned this last year?
There were a number! First off, I love collaboration. As a CEO, I often felt very isolated in my role. Final responsibility for decisions rested with me, and sometimes these were decisions I didn’t want to make e.g. making staff redundant but had no option. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working closely with sales and marketing experts, Emma D’Arcy and Christina Jones. We have had so much fun building out the programme for our Mastermind Group, The Winners Enclosure™ and co-hosting online discussions on Blab, the latest of which is about Marketing Trends For 2016.
Second, I didn’t focus sufficiently on my offline networking and maintaining the business relationships I’d worked so hard to cultivate in 2014. I’m naturally quite introverted so I have to make a big effort to participate in group activities. One of my goals for 2016 is to host bi-monthly gatherings of like-minded business people. Thirdly, although I exceeded my expectations and quadrupled my income in 2015, I could have done better. In retrospect, to create the sort of marketing budget I need to move my business forward, I really needed an additional 2 clients for 1:1 business coaching every month.
8. Are you hanging out with the right people? Are you building the right network to help you move your business forward?
Overall, I’d say yes. I’m surrounded by a great business community. In 2016,my intention is to develop these relationships and create a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who champion and support one another.
9. Has your business enabled you to live your ‘why’ in 2015?
To an extent. I’m passionate about the power of education to transform lives. I’ve had the very good fortune to lead an amazing group of small business owners through my Plan For Profit Facebook community and I’ve loved putting together online trainings for my membership site, The Best Year Ever Boardroom. Where I really want to spend more time is on my Ambassador role for Half The Sky. But I realised that my priority for 2015 really had to be ensuring my business has rock-solid foundations.
How did I get on with the 3 goals I set for 2015?
1. I created the Best Year Ever Boardroom, a membership site packed with content to help small business owners from across the globe to grow their business with confidence. The group is currently closed to new admissions, but you can get in the waiting list HERE.
2. Together with my two #BBFs, Emma D'Arcy and Christina Jones, we launched our Mastermind Group, The Winners Enclosure™.
3. A key aim was to travel more with my business – the US is high on the list. In March, I spent an amazing 6 days in NYC, and then traveled across to California for a 2 week road trip with my friend Cathy Ballard. We hiked the trails of Yosemite National Park, saw 1,000 year old sequoia trees, drove along Big Sur and dined in San Francisco. I'm now dreaming of a hiking trip in the Appalachian mountains, visiting Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian coast...
What’s Next For 2016?
This annual business review 2015 has helped me to see just how much I've accomplished this year. And how much I can achieve in 2016 if I set my mind to it. 2016 is all about building my platform, but I’ve a number of other goals too.
(a) Take a mini-sabbatical and write ‘that book.’
(b) Build my newsletter list to 5,000 people and increase my Twitter following to 10,000 people.
(c) Organise a ‘big launch’ for my Best Year Ever Business Roadmap™
(d) Host an online business summit using Blab.
(e) Put in place a team to manage my content marketing strategy.
(f) Quadruple my income so that I can start building a property portfolio.
Join The Conversation
Questions: How was 2015 for you? What were the key business lessons you learnt? What are your top goals for 2016? Please share!
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I have 25 years’ experience in business, including 8 years as a CEO. I trained at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. With experience in business planning, financial management, risk management, building strategic partnerships, product development, marketing (including PR) plus leading and developing staff teams of up to 150 people, there’s very little I haven’t had to deal with or experienced.
I now run a boutique business consulting and coaching agency, Best Year Ever. If you’re interested in working with me, you can find out more about my business consultancy and coaching practice HERE.