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Part One: Reflecting on your business

Dec, 20 2018

For many of us, the end of the year is a time to pause and reflect. It’s also a time when many people set goals for the new year – whether it’s resolving to save money, eat healthier, read more books, volunteer more or learn a new skill.  

If you’re a business owner or manager, it’s also important to reflect on your business or department as you prepare for the year ahead. Maybe you’re wrapping up your best year of business. In that case, use this time to reflect on what made it so successful and brainstorm ways to keep the momentum going in the new year. On the other hand, if you didn’t meet some of your goals this year, 2019 could be an opportunity for a fresh start.

As you’re planning for the year ahead, here are some tips for reflecting on your business.

Schedule time to reflect.
Let’s face it: The end of the year is a busy time for many businesses. From wrapping up projects to planning 2019 budgets to squeezing in final sales to holiday parties to family gatherings – there’s a lot to pack into the last month of the year.

Between now and Jan. 1, block out some time on your calendar for reflection. It doesn’t have to be an entire day or even a half day. Schedule an hour or two to sit down with a notebook and a good cup of coffee, and put your thoughts on paper. If you need a little inspiration, here are some questions to ask yourself as you reflect and think positively about 2018:

  • What worked well in 2018?
  • What was a high point of the year?
  • What do you value most about your business and work?
  • What are the core practices that have a positive impact on your business and your community?
  • How did you help your team succeed or offer a great customer experience? 

Ask for feedback.
Another way to reflect is to bring your team together to share reflections from 2018. This could take place in a team huddle or over lunch. Bringing your team together to reflect on the year can help you celebrate wins together as well as brainstorm ways to help your business build on its success. 

Take the Quick Impact Assessment.  
To take your reflection a step further, consider completing the Quick Impact Assessment. This is a powerful tool for uncovering your strengths, identifying areas for growth and thinking holistically about your business. Before taking the assessment, we recommend having a basic understanding of your business structure, policies, history, energy consumption, waste management practices and a list of frequent vendors and suppliers.

Brainstorm big picture goals for 2019.
After you’ve had time to reflect, review your notes and see if there are any key themes that emerged during the process. Possible themes could be sustainability, management, employee engagement, community outreach or professional development. Make note of these as they will play an important role in the goal-setting process, which we will dive into in our next blog post.

Join us next week for Part Two of our New Year resolution series: Setting realistic, measurable and meaningful goals for 2019.

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