Episode 2: Have Your Company's Best Year in 2019
Ready to make it happen in 2019?
Here's our little secret: a company retreat!
At the end of the year, we do a full review. It starts by looking at last year: what worked + what didn't. Then, we look at our overall company vision to make sure everything is aligned .And finally, we create the plan to make it happen this year!
LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE
Plan Your Retreat
I block off two days on the calendar and plan a retreat somewhere far away.
I look at it as an investment, rather than an expense. An Airbnb + travel will cost a couple hundred dollars but the clarity + direction this retreat will bring my business is going to make a lot more than that in profit. Plus, it’s a business expense so it’s tax deductible.
You can also pick a location that is nearby or that has cheap flights to save on costs. I’ve had our company retreat in Austin, Las Vegas, and Joshua Tree.
If that’s not in your budget, you can absolutely do it at home. I actually ran our company retreat from my home office this year. I’ve been doing so much traveling for speaking engagements this year (+ we have so many more conferences lined up for the spring!) that I wanted to spend a few days at home.
The key is to let everyone in your house know that you are absolutely off-limits during retreat hours. You don’t want any distractions!
What to Bring
All your favorite office supplies. Pens, paper, post-its, calendars, and my new favorite thing: a giant whiteboard!
You’ll want to bring all your company information from the past year: marketing data, financial data, and sales data. And your business plan.
I think it’s a good idea to hire a virtual assistant to find this information for you. It’s a bit of a hassle and your job should be the bigger picture strategy. Plus, it shouldn’t cost more than $50 to find it all.
Start with each pile of data: marketing, financial, sales. Write out what worked the best. Then, look for trends along the best performers.
Maybe all your best social media posts were about one topic? Or your email newsletters worked best when sent at a certain time? Or your best selling products were all floral scents?
Figure out what’s working + why. How can you do more of that? How can you tie it into everything you’re doing this year?
What Didn’t Work
Look at each pile of data: marketing, financial, sales. Write out what didn’t work. Then, look for trends along the worst performers.
Maybe you spent a lot of money on something that’s not converting? Or you spent too much time on the administrative work? Or your work selling products were all about time management?
Figure out what’s not working + why. How can you fix that?
The Overall Vision
Grab your business plan and go back through it. You can use any business plan that you like. I use the Better Business Plan. It’s actually a business plan that I created when I started my first business and it worked so well that I’ve used it with all my businesses. #serialentrepreneur
Here’s what you want to ask yourself:
Does it still make sense? Is it aligned with the things that are working well in your business? Are you going in the right direction to meet your overall business goal?
You know what worked for your company this year + what you’ll do more. You know what didn’t work + what you’ll fix. And you know the overall direction you want to go. So let’s make it happen. Grab the calendars and create a timeline for all of your goals this year.
The only way they get done is if they’re on the calendar!
The Hard Stuff
Honestly, some parts of the retreat are not super fun. It can be uncomfortable to look back at last year + see things that you didn't do well. But it's so necessary because those are the things that are keeping your business small. You have to know what they are to start fixing them. That's how you get to the next level!
And here's what you need to remind yourself: A bad blog post or an instagram post that nobody liked or an email newsletter that nobody opened doesn't make you a bad business owner.
If you look at what you're doing wrong and fix it, that makes you a great business owner!
So figure out what you need to work on + start improving that this year.