eCommerce Made Easy

How to use a Year End Review to boost your next year in your online business

December 26, 2023 Carrie Saunders Episode 35
eCommerce Made Easy
How to use a Year End Review to boost your next year in your online business
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As the year comes to a close, it’s important to navigate the highs and lows of your eCommerce journey. Review your successes and stumbles with me as I share my own process for reflecting on my business journey this past year. As we look at our accomplishments and struggles, I will guide you through reflecting on your year without judgement so that you can prepare for the new year armed with positive mindset and essential insights from your past experiences.

Grab a pen and paper or open up a digital document and get ready to look back at your business journey.

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Speaker 1:

As an online business owner, you might be wondering what else can I do to love about my business for the new year, or what can I do to be more efficient and increase revenue. In this episode, we have you covered with ideas you can use not only now, but also throughout the year. Welcome to the Ecommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders. When we started this business, all I had was a couch, a laptop and a nine-month old. My main goal To help others. Now, with over 20 years in the Ecommerce building industry, and even more than that in web development, I have seen a lot. I love breaking down the hard tech and to easily understandable bits to help others be successful in their online business. Whether you're a seasoned Ecommerce veteran or just starting out, you've come to the right place, so sit back, relax and let's dive into the world of Ecommerce together.

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to this week's episode of the Ecommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders. Today we're talking about how do you use a year-in review or really a review you could do anytime of the year to propel your business forward. I'll be talking about making lists in this episode, but if you're driving or working out and can't make the list right just now, don't worry about it. Listen in process information and then come back to this episode for some quick exercises. All right, so first off, I like to start with the list of things that I am proud of that we accomplished. Creating a list of items that you and or your team accomplished is a great way to get started. First set a timer for about five minutes and just let the ideas flow. Nothing is good or bad here, so don't judge whether you're proud of what you're proud of and whether it's good enough to be proud of, et cetera. The goal is to start with positive things you're happy about. This will help set the tone for your review.

Speaker 1:

For us, we have several things we're proud of this year. For example, we began the process of rebranding our business. Given it's over 20 years old now, it's well time to review and evaluate if our current brand is still relevant. Things have changed. Technology has, for sure, changed, but it is a big leap of faith to rebrand a business, this old right. So I'm really proud that we started this process. I also started this podcast in 2023 as well. May 2nd, to be exact, is when the first episode released. It was a big undertaking, but it's been thoroughly enjoyable to create content that helps you and your business. And this is our 35th episode that I'm speaking to right now and I still enjoy recording these for you just as much as I did back in the beginning Probably maybe more so now that I'm a bit more comfortable doing them too.

Speaker 1:

Also, me and my team, along with our clients team together because that's really what makes a project successful completed one of our larger shopping cart migrations this year. We have done some very big migrations in the past and this was one of them. Over a year in the making and over a thousand hours this project took. As a cohesive team between us and the client, we were able to make it as seamless and as smooth as possible, with very minor hiccups. So we were really proud of ourselves as well as our client, because, in the end, the client needs to do a lot of testing as well as we do our testing, of course, but the client knows their website and what they need, so we were super proud of their dedication and their testing of their website.

Speaker 1:

Also at the end of the 2023, as I'm speaking to this episode right now, I've created a new Facebook group where we'd be going live regularly and sharing online business and tech tips. So be sure to join us at wwwfacebookcom forward slash groups forward slash b, c s e solutions, and we will link to it in the show notes and why. I'm really proud of this. It's something that's been on my mind for a while. I love giving back and I love helping others, but creating a free Facebook group is a bit of an undertaking and it takes a bit of resources to do so. I'm really proud that I was patient and waited. Do I felt like I had the bandwidth to get that started?

Speaker 1:

Okay, so those are just a few examples of what I'm proud of that either I did or my team did together, and I want to just give it to you as an example of what you can be think about Seriously, no judgment here. I mean some of these things are super small. I mean I just created the Facebook group just a few weeks ago as of this recording, but some of the things were really big and some items were new to us and some are things that we've done before. So what are your items? Take some time and list them out Again. We need to make sure we have no judgment. Don't worry whether it's good enough to make the list or not. Just start writing, okay. So next we're going to set a timer for five minutes, unless the items you felt that you fell short on whether it's you and your team that you feel like you fell short on, and then this one's a little bit harder to do emotionally, but it is, in the end, really good for us to do. Again, don't judge here and don't feel badly that you didn't excel at any of these items, just list them. Don't have, like I said and I want to emphasize this any judgment, because the point of this is not to bring ourselves down but, in the end, to lift ourselves up.

Speaker 1:

So I do want to give you a few examples of some things I'm not quite so proud of that has happened this year. For one, some segments of our business lost money, like that kind of stinks right, some segments just lost money. But I need to know that, to be acknowledged that and to fix it. Also, while rebranding is a great thing, it has not happened nearly as fast as I wanted it to. I don't need to get down on myself over it, but I do need to state that and just have it be what it is. It just didn't happen as fast as I wanted it to. Some of that's on me, some of it's not, and it's just what it is. But without acknowledging it I can't work to fix that right.

Speaker 1:

We also had some. While we had a great client you know, several clients go great we had a handful of few small clients that just didn't go quite as planned for their projects While we fixed and figured out things. In the end, you know, it's still it's not great when things don't go as planned. It kind of hurts some right. And I also wanted to start up regular staff meetings. That's something I haven't even gotten to yet. It's the end of the year and I had goals to start this in about the summertime and I haven't gotten to it yet Now, granted, we've done rebranding and things like that in between, but stating that I haven't got to it yet, without excuses, without any judgments, is really what we're trying to do here.

Speaker 1:

We just need to state it so we can make a plan to move forward. So those are few brief examples of what didn't go well for us. Some items were a surprise to us and some weren't, but without listing them you can't fix some, you can't make a plan to move forward with them. You must acknowledge what needs improvement so that you can improve it. Now I'd like to end on a positive when I'm doing a review, so we're going to continue to run with the items that need to be improved.

Speaker 1:

So go through your list of the items you just made, and this next task might take a little bit longer. Set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Use your best judgment on how long you've run the need for this, and I want you to go through each item and I want you to think about these points I'm going to talk about and write your answers down when possible. What did you learn about the item that didn't go well? What could you have done better? Again, no judgment when you're writing these down. Just simply state what could have done. What could you have done better. No emotion behind it. I mean you're probably going to have some emotion, like let's be honest here, but you know, try to detach a little bit of emotion from it so that you don't bring yourself down in depression.

Speaker 1:

What changes would you make next time to make things better? What metrics can you track to help you succeed better? For example, where the business the part of the business that lost revenue didn't make any revenue. If I were tracking, if I'd been tracking that a bit better, I would have seen it sooner and I could have fixed it sooner. Now, I'm not saying that to be hard on myself. I'm just stating that as a simple fact. The fact that I didn't measure something made it so that it didn't work, and if I'd measured it, I could have done some corrective actions. So the point of this part is to be able to make corrective actions next time. So, again, let me read those questions again. We'll put them in the show notes too. What did you learn? What could you have done to do better? What changes would you make next time, and what metrics can you track to help you succeed better? Again, don't do this when any judgment or shame. You may need to even come back to this in a day or two and do this part of the evaluation, and that's okay. Just be sure you do it, though, because if we're not evaluating what went wrong, we can't make it better, and without self and team reflection, you're just not going to get better, like I said right. So for us, like I mentioned, the segment of business that lost money. I could have helped mitigate that by keeping an eye on it, but really, what does keeping an eye on it mean? Saying I need to keep an eye on it is one thing, but what exact metrics could I have used to predict the outcome? Be really specific when you're thinking about the corrective actions you can do next time and the metrics that you can use. Be as specific as possible and really think through this part, and that's going to make this process a lot more effective and work better for you.

Speaker 1:

Alright, so let's go back to the posthum. Let's go over the items that you are proud of. We want to end on a positive note here. I think, when we're doing self evaluations and self reviews, it's a great idea to start with a positive and end on the positive. Our mindset is everything. Obviously, we can't ignore the bad, but we need to keep things in perspective when reviewing so we can make progress. So we need to focus on the good so we can keep a good mindset. Again, set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes here.

Speaker 1:

I want you to go through each item and write what did you learn? And again, remember we're talking about the positive things. What did you learn from it, though Still, you probably learned something. Why did it go well? Think about why it went well. What changes would you make, if any, to make it go even better? Again, this is no judgment, not saying you could have made it better, but maybe you could have.

Speaker 1:

Let's recognize that here and think through that, and did you track specific metrics on this goal to make it happen? Can you apply that to the items that didn't go well, likely the things that went well? You kept metrics and tracked things. For me, for example, the podcast, creating the podcast. I had specific steps and metrics that I wanted to hit leading up to launching the podcast, and I had those set. I was reviewing them and I was doing all the things and that's why that was successful, similar to the really large client that had this huge migration. We had regular reviews, we went through all the tasks, we prioritized them, we figured out what was going well, we worked on the things that weren't going well and we reiterated on it over and over again through the list until the list was small enough that everything was done that needed to be done to go live. So what did you do right with the things that went well and use those to help you propel the things that didn't go well Next time.

Speaker 1:

Also, if you need to take a break, I do think it's good, like I said before, to go back in a day or two and re-review these notes. What would you add? What do you see differently now that you process in your brain? We kind of process things when we sleep. We process things when we're doing mind-numbing that task, maybe when we're cooking or when we're working out, and that is a really good downtime, especially for not using our phones. When you're doing those things, it's a really good idea to get your brain calm and you may be using your phone to listen to something, but you know, scrolling and doing things on your phone visually can really make it hard for your brain to process, especially things like this.

Speaker 1:

So once you've given your brain time to relax and process, come back to the exercise, go, look at what you wrote down. What would you adjust? Are you pretty accurate? You know were you in a mood that day and you weren't really very honest with yourself. So I hope you, I hope this really helps you and you found some great things to celebrate that you had forgotten about or even dismissed, and I hope you found some things you can improve upon, but keeping it in a framed and a positive manner so that you can really make that great improvement, because you're in a great mindset, you see what happened, you acknowledge it and you're just going to move on and make it better next time. That's what we need to be doing when we're thinking about this exercise in this episode.

Speaker 1:

That's all I have for this week's episode. I hope you enjoyed it. I know I did creating it and I've already started a review like this and plan to revisit it. Be sure to visit our show notes for this episode and other episodes at wwwecommercemadeeasypodcastcom. If you're watching on the YouTube channel, make sure you hit that subscribe button. Or if you're listening on the podcast, make sure you hit that follow button wherever you're listening. If you're listening to this and found value in today's episode or any of the episodes at ecommercemadeeasypodcast, we want to hear from you. What other content do you want to hear on the show? Drop us an email at podcast at bcsinjoneeringcom, or leave us a review. Thank you again for listening and I will see you next week.

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