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Steering your own ship now? 3 tips to make your EOFY review work for you

When I started my business, the idea of an end of financial year review made me die a little inside. I just don’t get meaning out of figures on a page. I’m all about the people that I’m helping through my services. Since then, I’ve learned there are many ways to measure success. I feel less compelled by the numbers (words are more ‘my thing’); it’s more about the impact.

Is this you, too? Maybe you don’t see the point because you didn’t really set a budget to start with. I hear you. Still, you can make EOFY a time to review, reflect and reset.

1. Release the ghosts of FYs past

As a non-finance-y type, I’d never really thought much of the financial year cycle. I had a few past jobs where I was planning and monitoring budgets for projects, and it was such a chore.

I’d observed the passing of the financial year end as a desperate call to action to spend the last of the budget and send all your paperwork (+ a piece of your soul and 2 pints of blood) to Accounts, so they could work all weekend to appease the Dept of Finance and tax gods. I felt disconnected from the assessment of outcomes when it was all a frenzy to balance the numbers.

Now that I’m a business owner, I AM the Accounts and budget management section. That means the plan is up to me. But I’ll admit that when I started out, I didn’t make a proper plan. I had a vision, yet I was so used to someone else setting expectations and rules. It took a long time to extricate myself from the ‘shoulds’ and to take the wheel to set my own financial year objectives.

Making the mindset shift to becoming a business owner is a process. When you realise you’re the one setting the targets, you can use EOFY to reflect on whether you’re making meaningful progress.

2. Compare your results to your own results, not everyone else’s

A trap we often fall into in business is to compare ourselves to others. It’s easy to feel like you’re falling short if all you see are the big businesses with big marketing budgets and flashy ads. That’s not a fair comparison, particularly when you’re starting out.

Remembering it’s your own ‘business journey’ is crucial to setting realistic expectations.

For me, I’m not an empire builder. I’m aiming to make a meaningful difference to my clients’ businesses and lives, and to have a sustainable business.

I’m comparing my progress to where I was when I first started out with a plan to help fellow values-based business owners connect with more clients.

I ask myself ‘Am I still on track to achieving what I set out to achieve? Have I helped others achieve their potential?’

To add a stretch goal, I move on to, ‘Could I do what I do more effectively and efficiently, giving me capacity to help more people?’

3. When setting your new goals, remember to include the steps to achieve them

How many times have you done a ‘goal-setting’ exercise, got all inspired, and then let the goals fade from your mind, taken over by the daily grind you were trying to rise out of?

In order to make your review, reflection, and resetting of targets meaningful, it’s so important to identify the next steps. And take them.

Action steps could look like:

  • locking in a time in your diary each week, each fortnight or each month to revisit your goals and take an action, or
  • identifying a project that will address one of your goals, breaking down the steps, and plotting them out in your work program, or
  • maybe you need some more resources to achieve your next objective – knowledge/skills from a course? A contractor? Some expert advice? Identify what or who you need and book into that course or make that call.

If you’re pleasantly surprised with your progress, it’s time to celebrate! Starting a business is hard and can feel isolating. If you’re air-punching alone in your home office, let me know, I love a good news story.

And if you’re not sure how to reach your goals of bringing in more clients and growing your business, get in touch. Let’s look at what else you could be doing to connect with more clients who need your services.

It’s your end of financial year review
But you’re not sure what you should do
Forget your old roles
Hit reset. Your goals
Are all yours to achieve. You do you

Are you having trouble setting and achieving marketing objectives? Get in touch and we can create a plan that works for you!

Connectjen: Helping solo service providers create their own achievable marketing plan, starting with getting clear on ‘who you help and how you help them’.