At the end of every year, I cozy up by the fire with a soy chai tea latte to look at what worked for my business and what didn’t.
Before I set concrete goals and map out my marketing plan for the next year, it’s important to know what I should do more of and less of.
It might seem like one of those “well duh” concepts but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with creative entrepreneurs who do the opposite. They spend more time on the stuff that isn’t working, trying to figure out how to make it work and stop doing the stuff that worked so well for them. And, they want to know why their businesses aren’t doing so hot.
If you’ve never done a yearly review of your business, now’s the time to start a new tradition.
Here are 20 questions to get you started:
1. What was your best-selling product? What do you think made it so successful?
2. What was your least successful product? Why do you think it didn’t sell well?
3. What marketing strategies worked best? (Examples: blog tour, video series, giveaway, guest post, interview)
4. What marketing strategies failed? Why do you think they failed?
5. In what month did you make the most money? What did you do differently in that month?
6. In what month did you make the least amount of money? What did you do differently in that month?
7. What blog post got the most comments? What do you think connected so well with your readers? Did you encourage comments in some way?
8. What blog post got the least comments? Why do you think your readers didn’t connect to it? Did you encourage readers to leave comments?
9. What blog post had the most shares on social media? Why do you think so many readers shared it?
10. What blog post had the least shares on social media? Why do you think your readers weren’t excited to share it?
11. What social media platform worked best for your business? Why?
12. What social media platform didn’t work well for your business? Why?
13. What was the subject line of your most opened email newsletter? Why do you think so many subscribers opened it?
14. What was the subject line of your least opened email newsletter? Why do you think your subscribers didn’t open it?
15. What did you enjoy working on the most?
16. What did you least enjoy working on?
17. Who did you enjoy working with the most? (Write up an ideal customer profile based on this person!)
18. Who did you least enjoy working with? What characteristics should you look out for in prospects so that you avoid working with that type of person in the future? (If you’re still working with this person, it might be time to refer him/her to someone else.)
19. Make a list of what you spent your biz money on. (Examples: website hosting, advertisements, boosted Facebook posts, new computer, Adobe suite, CreativeLive course) Beside each one, place a ‘checkmark’ if it truly moved your business forward and a ‘x’ if it didn’t.
20. How much money did you make total for the year (profit)? How do you feel about that number? How much do you want to make next year?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be in a better place to set goals and create a marketing plan for 2015.
Have a question that we should add to the list? Leave it in the comments below.
I’d also love to know your answers to one or two of the questions. You pick and share below!