Mid-year review: Taking stock on a year half over

With the 4th of July now in the rearview mirror, it is officially time to buckle down for the second half of 2011. Given the hectic pace most small business people keep up these days, it is easy to let such milestones pass without pausing to consider whether we’re still on track to accomplish the business goals we set for ourselves in January. But taking at least a few minutes to re-connect with those goals and chart progress toward them is important.

Here are three questions worth considering at mid-year:

• Do all your 2011 goals still make sense or has something changed in a significant way that makes one or more goals either completely obsolete or in need of a serious revision? So much in today’s economy is beyond our control. Since January, for example, gas prices have soared. This – or any other changes that have affected your cost of doing business – may require you to reconsider some of your goals for 2011.

• What progress have you made toward your goals? Are you halfway toward your income goal for the year? Or, if you’re in a seasonable business, are you where you should be by this time of the year?

If not, why is that? Be honest with yourself. Yes, some things, like the aforementioned gas prices, are beyond your control, but many other things – such as the amount of effort you’re putting into important activities such as networking – are totally within your control. If you’re way off target on your goals, take a good long look at why that may be and make corrections where you can.

• What is working well and what is not going as it should? Have you tried some new strategies in the first six months of the year? For example, maybe you launched a Facebook page or started tweeting. Now is a good time to evaluate anything new so that you can alter course if necessary to get to where you want to be by the end of the year.

Also look at things you’ve been doing forever that don’t seem to be producing results like they used to. Why is that? Is it time for a new strategy or two?

Don’t be one of those people who gets to the end of the year and is surprised that things haven’t happened as planned. Mid-course reviews – and any necessary corrections – are important. This will be time well spent, I guarantee it!

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