Looking Back and Planning Ahead!
Sophie Zollmann
November 12, 2021

It’s that time again – the 4th quarter, the end of the line for this year! Time to sit down and take a close look at the good, the bad, and the ugly…

Before we can even think about ringing in the new year and what 2022 might bring for our businesses, we’ve got to take the time to reflect on 2021. When you do your year-end assessment, it helps to have some key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide your analysis. When you have some metrics to define your success, it makes it far easier to see where you nailed it, and where you might have room for improvement.

Your specific KPIs are often determined by your industry, but today we’re going to discuss some general performance indicators that could be used in any business.

  • Sales

It’s easy to discern if you made more money, but how’s your growth rate looking compared to last year? If you’re not sure, grab your calculator. I promise – it’s easy! Subtract last year’s sales from this year’s sales, then divide by last year’s total sales. Voila! That’s your sales growth rate.

  • Profitability

Were your profits higher this year than last year? Were you able to pay yourself more? Don’t forget to measure the profit margins of individual products or services while you’re at it. Your overall costs of services delivered might have increased over the previous year, and if you didn’t plan for it, that means your profit margins are decreasing – yikes!

  • Customer Acquisition

How many new customers did you gain this year? Break down your new customer list by demographic factors like age, geography, and industry. Then look at how they discovered you. Was it your website? A referral? New lead magnet? Social media? All of this will help you plan for next year. You’ll know which groups are most likely to convert, and which channels bring you the best leads, so you’ll be able to allocate your marketing bucks to the most profitable source.

  • Marketing

How much did you spend on marketing this year? How does that compare to last year’s ad spend? Which platform got the lion’s share of your marketing budget? Do you plan to increase your marketing efforts next year? These important questions help you accurately plan your 2022 marketing budget and assess which channels brought you the best ROI so you can disperse your budget accordingly.

  • Email Campaigns

Email is an important part of your marketing strategy, so you want to spend time evaluating the success of your email campaigns as well. Start by measuring the number of new subscribers against last year’s subscriber gains. One more thing to check is your bounce rate. A few of them are normal, but if you find an unusually high volume of bounce backs, it could be an indicator that your list is outdated, and you need to clean it up before ringing in the new year.

  • Social Media

Chances are, you’ve been tracking your engagement metrics throughout the year, but it’s still good to get an overall view of the year as a whole. What brought the highest levels of engagement? Did it vary by platform? Were there certain topics that really resonated with your audience? What links brought the most traffic? These are all important things to know as you craft your content strategy for 2022.

If you’d like to discover more metrics that you can use to measure your 2021 success and plan for next year, check out this week’s episode of Building Your Empire with SophieZo!


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