Mid-Year Business Review: A Company’s Path to Success
- by John J. McAdam
Deciding whether or not to administer a mid-year business review can make or break the path of your company. Even if you’re busy, tired, or have other things to do, carving out a chunk of time to hold a review can significantly improve your chance of achieving financial goals.
A quality, comprehensive business review serves as a business status update and plan for the remainder of the year. The frequency of business reviews typically varies by company size as larger businesses tend to conduct them more frequently than smaller firms. While business advisors often, and perhaps accurately, recommend a quarterly business review, my observations among the most successful companies show only a mid-year review is necessary. The purpose of the mid-year business review is to monitor business performance, create solutions to make more money, and provide guidance for leadership via communication with, and for, your team.
Since management encompasses planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, a quality business plan review integrates each of those disciplines together. Let’s explore if a mid-year business review will benefit your company.
The purpose of a mid-year review
- Evaluate performance.
- Reallocate resources to better achieve goals.
- Make more money than you would have otherwise.
- Take stronger corrective actions than you would have without a mid-year review.
- Provide leadership for your team—too much silence taxes milestone goals.
- Offer focus for your team.
Reasons a mid-year review might be unnecessary
- Clearly meeting financial goals.
- Your team has knowledge of their duties and expectations of them for the rest of the year.
- Regular and sufficient monitoring of business performances.
- A full sales/marketing pipeline.
- Presence of all of the above.
There’s nothing quite like an abundance of cash in the checking account and a full sales and marketing pipeline to make a business owner comfortable and, consequently, ignore the need for business reviews. The goal of quality planning, however, is to prepare for the inevitable downturn while enjoying plentiful resources.
Types of business reviews and when to conduct them
While there are many different types of business reviews, these three fundamental types persist because they’re simple and effective. The following chart provides key elements for each fundamental business review, allowing you to determine which is right for your company:
|Goal Review||Sales & Money Review||Comprehensive Review|
|What?||Reviews milestone goals, action items, and new business initiatives||Updates goals, customer account plans, and financial progress||Reviews and updates business plan for each area of the business|
|Who?||Any leadership position||Sales, marketing, and financial managers||The management team, typically C-level|
|Where?||In offices||In conference room||Off-site|
|When?||Monthly||Bi-Monthly to Quarterly||Mid-Year and Annual|
|Why?||To support goal achievement||To maximize sales and profits||To plan for the best year possible|
Knowing how often to conduct the reviews stems from the successes your company has experienced.
- Never: Unfortunately, most small firms never conduct a review of their business, even if they need it.
- Annually: Conduct a review each year especially when successes remain high.
- Semi-annual: The best-in-class business planning processes occur in private industry when comprehensive reviews take place mid-year.
- Quarterly: Suggested as ideal in empirical business literature and by publicly traded companies due to quarterly SEC filing requirements, but often not practiced in smaller firms unless required by law.
- Monthly: Perform a monthly review when it seems that problems prevent goal attainment.
- Bi-Monthly: These reviews should be applied in the case of emergency situations.
- Weekly: The execution of a weekly review exists when facing bankruptcy, workouts, or the demands of obsessive-compulsive micro-managers.
Tips for a quality mid-year business review
Completing a mid-year business review makes updating your business plan easier. A review brings energy and action to the business planning process. To ensure a quality and comprehensive plan, employ the following tips:
- Planning and preparation by you must precede the meeting.
- Create and show your written agenda to your team.
- Allow sufficient time to complete the review.
- State the type of meeting, protocol, and expectations of the review.
- Discuss money matters last, or at least late, within the meeting(s).
- Meet your team where they are, as opposed to where you want them to be.
- Discuss first the successes and accomplishments to fertilize minds on necessary areas of improvement.
- Complete quality control check for communications with key players and organizations.
Taking time out of one’s busy schedule to hold a review is an essential part of business management. The first step is to write down an outline agenda highlighting what you want to accomplish with your team for the remainder of the current year. Try it. The exercises of integration, resource allocation, leadership, and communications strengthen the collective body of your company. Afterward, you will feel great knowing that you have created a more successful journey for you and your team.