With the 1st of July being exactly the middle of 2021, it is now time to undertake a mid-year review of your business. This review is important to amend any processes that aren’t working and gives you the chance to incorporate new protocols to continue evolving as a business.
A mid-year review covers a number of touchpoints within the business. You should review achievements and ensure objectives and KPI’s are on track. Additionally, you should request feedback on what needs to be improved and how employees can receive the right support to make these changes.
What business areas should you focus on during a mid-year review?
Broadly, this is your opportunity to conduct a more holistic review of your business. While monthly plan reviews are meant for quick, incremental improvements, a mid-year review can be used to update your strategy and forecasts for the remainder of the year. Here are a few key areas worth focusing on.
For any business, small and large, maintenance is crucial for success. Ongoing training removes the set-and-forget mentality and the chance of your business getting left behind in the continually advancing business world. Without evolving, your competitors will come out on top.
Training refers to training team members on new platforms, techniques, and technologies. As well as dedicating time to training them on elements that already exist but may not have set protocols or processes for. These protocols you implement provide employees with a better basis to work faster and more efficiently.
For this reason, re-evaluating your current business model and determining if any new platforms or processes need to be implemented will promote long-term improvement.
Likewise, configuring who needs training in which areas will directly improve employees’ time efficiency on set tasks. You could set up mid-year team meetings to assess where everyone is at, how comfortable they are, and analyze their opinions on issues that have arisen in the first half of the year and which areas need focusing on. While it may initially take time, it will streamline processes for the remainder of 2021.
2. Time allocation and resulting productivity
During your mid-year review, encouraging communication and team feedback is key. In regards to time allocation, your employees know best about their productivity. Up to this point, there should be some level of project tracking. Request that employees seek out gaps in processes and how they suggest filling these gaps. Give members a set amount of time to list some pointers on how productivity could become more efficient and then group together to discuss.
The remainder of the year should be when you implement these changes to improve your businesses or specific departments.
Platforms are an effective way to optimize processes, especially with technological advancements and the thousands of options available online today. Profit should be top of mind when analyzing productivity. As a rule of thumb, the more productive employees are, the higher the profit margins will be.
Some time-saving benefits to consider when vetting platforms are streamlined document filing, automated reports, and offline availability. Purchasing technology and platforms will initially cost you but it should pay off in the long run, by saving a substantial amount of time automating tasks.
When it comes to sales, the mid-year point is the time to take a look back at trends and patterns that arose in the first half of the year. Are there certain clients or customers that could benefit from your additional products or services? For instance, customers who already have purchased a kitchen appliance from you may be interested in additional homeware.
Now they are on your mailing list, you could send out a homeware edition to those customers.
Take the time to pinpoint any sales gaps. Ask yourself questions such as — How many customers are returning? Could your customer service be better? Or are you losing them at checkout? Analyze potential customers’ needs and either promote your current offering or tailor your offerings to suit them.
More people are at home using technology than ever before. As a business, this is your chance to get your products or services front and center on the screens of engaged audiences who are already most likely to purchase from you. This involves analyzing your online presence as a whole and ensuring each marketing area is covered in preparation for next year.
Bear in mind, preparing in advance is even more important for marketing. For example, SEO is a long-term strategy that boosts Google’s ranking in the future. In addition, marketing materials require time to create, through writing copy and designing imagery.
Sit down and have marketing strategy sessions to plan the next six months of techniques for your website, social media, advertising, email marketing, and SEO. Start out by looking at your performance for the first half of the year. What messaging/channels have worked? How much budget is allocated to marketing expenditure? Where can you expand or cut back?
Determine the areas you want to make more sales in and incorporate this into your strategy. Then set goals for the amount of marketing material you need to create and the amount of work aimed to be published for 2021 and leading into the new year.
On a more personal level, this time of the year should be the stage you check in on your workers, how they are performing and how their mental state is. This can be undertaken by HR or General Managers, allowing for honest and transparent communication within the team. Workers are therefore more likely to feel comfortable reaching out on their own accord throughout the remainder of the year, to suggest changes.
The operations review also covers an analysis of situations where the operations of specific tasks didn’t run as smoothly as they could have, and therefore, exploring why and how to prevent this in the second half of 2021. Lost time troubleshooting errors or simply spending too much time on tasks results in less profit.
You can either incorporate your operations conversation into your additional mid-year review meetings or set out one meeting which specifically discusses operations efficiency.
In order to better your operations, set up meetings before and after a project to ensure everyone is across what is expected of them from the client or customer. Utilize communication to prevent errors and continually check in throughout tasks. This important liaison can alter tasks and respond to small issues so they don’t turn into big issues.
Your mid-year review should help you optimize performance
The mid-year review is a perfect opportunity to look into these 5 key areas for the remainder of 2021. Training, productivity, sales, marketing, and operations all contribute to the overall success of your business and for that reason, communication and planning in these sectors will directly generate results.