The Importance of a Year End Review
While the importance of a year end review may not seem as fun and exciting as other aspects of a photography business, it is still important. Finishing out the year with time to evaluate, analyze and reflect on what is working and what needs to change can save you time, money and stress. Pop in your ear buds and grab your notebook and let’s dive into it the year end review together so you can have your best year yet in 2022.
4 Steps to Closing Out the Year with a Year End Review
The key factors to look at in a year end review of your business are financials, analytics, equipment/education and personal reflection. Some of these steps will have to do with simple tracking of data, while other aspects of the year end review will be a bit more emotional. It’s important for you to think about all the facets of your life when reviewing your business and your family life will play a role in that as well.
Step One: The Financials/Products
How much did you make? Was it enough to meet your goals? Take your total sessions and divide it by your total revenue to find your average sale. Give yourself a gut check on how you feel about this number. Are you ok with it? Did you need more bookings, more revenue per booking or maybe you even had too many bookings and in danger of a burn out.
What did you buy this year? Was there a unwise purchase that you regret or maybe something that you invested in that escalated your business? Looking at the numbers can help you to see trends and patterns in your business and know what is working or not. If a certain product did well and another flopped you will know to make changes for 2022. This fine tuning will allow your business to improve year after year.
Step Two: Analytics
Google analytics or maybe even your website plug can let you measure your return on your investment when it comes to your online presence and the performance of your website. This can be particularly helpful if you find out where your traffic is coming from so you can put more effort there. You can learn data from how long a person views your page, what pages they travel to and/or the source of them finding you. If you are new to google analytics you can find more information on it here. The goal of your website is to grab interest and hopefully have them hang around your site for awhile. Blogging sessions, pinning on pinterest and producing consistent content can help to get more ranking in google and improve your traffic. Social media may be another driver for traffic and it can be helpful to track your follower count and engagement. Even if you haven’t got much of a following or haven’t made it a priority it can still be a good benchmark so track your numbers.
Step Three: Education and Equipment
Did you invest in any education or new equipment? It is inevitable that you will invest in education and/or equipment in your photography business at some point. The year end review can help you to gather some awareness around how much you spent, as well as if it was a great investment or not. Tracking these expenses in year end review can help to inform future behaviors. If you find that working with a coach 4x your income then you may want to hire a coach. If you learned that you invested double what you made on non essential equipment then you can evaluate and make the necessary changes.
Key Questions for Reflection
- What worked well overall?
- Did it work well for your business AND your family?
- What did not work?
- What came very easy to you?
- What came very hard to you?
- What type of sessions brought you the most joy and what didn’t?
- What are you most proud of?
- What were your most disappointment findings?
The year end review is a vital step. Using these 4 steps you can close your year out strong. Data, reflection and analytics can help you to make informed decisions that can help you to know where to put your time, attention and money in the new year. You can’t look at just your business, but your whole life when you are reviewing what worked and what didn’t. Subscribe to the IPS Made Easy Podcast for Part 2 of this process with a special goal setting episode.
As the holidays approach do you wish that you could hustle less and be more present? I have put together a free podcast summit for all of my listeners called Simply Christmas. This will be 12 days of trainings to slow down and focus on what matters most this Christmas.