For years I didn’t understand why I needed to do a Year-end Review and Annual Planning. I thought what was past already had passed and I could not do anything about it whether it was good or bad. I will just keep trying, try harder in the coming year, and do what I think is best. Also, I never make New Year’s resolutions because they just don’t work for me so Annual Planning is really beyond me. Can you relate?
Let’s talk about Year-end Review today and we will save Annual Planning for next time so you’re not too overwhelmed!
First things first, I put together a template for you to get you started on your Year-end Review.
Yes, the wedding season is now gone (where I am anyway) and we cannot undo it, especially the things that didn’t go so well. But do you actually know specifically what didn’t go so well and what actually worked? After you pause and take the time to do this, it is then that you can know what you need to improve on or need to double down on for the coming year. Otherwise, you will just be going around in circles, as I have for many years!
There really is no perfect way to do year-end reviews. The key is that you do it so that you can gain better insights to map out the coming year and have greater success. Here’s how I usually do my end-of-wedding season review, it’s no rocket science, it’s pretty straightforward but it just takes time to reflect, and analyze.
Before I dive in, I should mention that I block time off on my calendar to sit down for a few hours and even a few days to do this. When you do that, you aren’t distracted from other things. You can focus, and be more efficient and productive.
Alright, let’s begin! The big picture of a year-end review is basically looking at the different areas in your life and answering 3 major questions. I know we’re talking about our Business, but I also look at Personal because they need to complement each other and work together. After all, why do we work? So that we can have a personal life that we want and a lifestyle that we desire. As you reflect on each area, you will notice that they affect one another.
Areas to Reflect On & Evaluate
In no particular order…
3 Questions I Ask Myself & Answer for Each Area Above
- What happened this past year?
- What went well/worked well?
- What didn’t go well/work well?
A Peak into My Year-end Review
I want to share with you some of the things I wrote down for the business side of things on my end. I want to show you that no matter what stage you’re at, there are always things that you need to work on. No, I don’t have everything down packed yet!
What happened in my wedding floral design business in 2023?
- I needed a break from the 2022 wedding craziness, physically and mentally.
- I decided to take on fewer weddings this year to give myself some time to do other things that I liked, business and personal.
- 2023 consisted of more wedding planning clients than wedding floral design couples.
- I continued to work out of my garage instead of moving back into a studio space after covid. I love working out of my home and less overhead.
- I had 10 weddings in total and that was perfect for me.
- I spent some time thinking about the direction of my business and where I wanted it to be in 2024. I took it slowly and tried to not stress myself out too much.
- I was able to speak to more wedding floral designers who have been struggling with their business. I love that so much. I can relate to them because I was once in their place.
What went well in my wedding floral design business in 2023?
- I was able to rest more in between weddings, unlike 2022 when everything was back-to-back, I barely had enough sleep.
- I was able to prepare weddings more efficiently.
- I was able to prepare weddings more in advance.
- Despite still working out of my garage after covid, I produced some of my biggest weddings to date.
- Saved a lot of travel time without having to go to the studio to work and to meet clients since most was done via video conferencing.
- Operating expenses were significantly lowered without the studio and warehouse overhead (rent, utilities, taxes and fees).
- Got to spend even more time with my son because of this.
- Website & SEO brought in more dream clients.
- Still brought in clients without paying for ads or other forms of advertising.
- 10 weddings still allowed me to meet my annual income goal.
- I found more staff who I can trust to pull things together for our clients.
What didn’t go well in my wedding floral design business in 2023?
- The garage space was too small to hire extra helpers for wedding prep.
- Not enough space in my garage to store the floral accessories and vases I use often.
- Because I was working from home most of the time, in some areas, I found I wasn’t as efficient and was easily distracted.
- Some tasks I put off even though it was in my task management system.
- I switched from task to task a lot before they were even done.
- I’ve many automated workflows in place, but I noticed some were missing.
- Not sending out client thank you cards right away after their weddings.
I spend the most time on the things that didn’t go so well and really try to be specific about them (more detailed in my worksheet than the above). After this exercise, I CELEBRATE the good and show GRATITUDE for the bad. Always celebrate your wins and have fun in your business! How will you treat yourself for your achievements? I’m also grateful that I do have something “bad” that I discovered because it means that I know what I need to improve on for next year. If there’s nothing bad, then I’d be doing the same thing again and not improving.
Now it’s your turn, are you ready?
Download your free Year-end Review Template if you haven’t already and let’s get started!
Stay tuned next week for Annual Planning as we take what we have discovered above to create a road map for next year!
Cheering you on!