When you’re an entrepreneur and the end of the year comes around, it’s often difficult to switch off and wrap things up. In a conventional office and corporate space you have bosses and an HR team deciding on when the business closes for the holidays and insisting that you take leave. When you’re on your own, you might find this difficult. But it’s imperative that you somehow wind down for the year and take some sort of break so that you can start the new year off with a refreshed mind and new goals. Below David Seinker, founder and CEO of The Business Exchange, shares five questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves in order to wrap up the year.

1. What were the biggest successes?

 Everyone must have a success story or two for the year. Identify what yours was and why these were your biggest successes of the year. Make a note on what you learnt and how you can use this to grow your business in 2020.

2. Where were the failures?

Try to identify about three failures or shortcomings that occurred in 2019. Ask yourself what this taught you and how you can avoid these failures in 2020. Perhaps you had hired someone who turned out to not be a good fit for your team? The lesson here could be that a more thorough interview process is needed going forward. Or perhaps you lost a client due to non- or late-delivery of services? Here the lesson could be that you possibly bit off more than you can chew.

3. Who helped me in my business this year?

Identify the clients, staff, friends and family that helped your businesses this year. Perhaps they helped by supporting you through difficult times or perhaps they stuck with you even when times were rocky. Thank these people and hint at some positive new plans for the business for 2020. If it’s a client, thank them for their business and let them know that you are looking forward to working with them again in the year ahead. This feedback will not only make everyone feel good, but it sets you up for a strong start to 2020 and it makes people want to help you again in the future.

4. What are my goals for next year?

Goal setting is important for business growth. Figure out what your 2020 goals are and work out how you plan to achieve these goals. Every business – big or small – needs focus and goals. Perhaps you want to grow the team? Identify the roles you need and how you want to create these jobs. Or maybe you have your eye on a big contract for 2020? What’s the plan to land it? Have a clear set plan that takes you closer to meeting your goals.

5. When should I end this year and what’s my first working day of next year?

Set a definite end date to your work life in 2019 and a start date for when you plan to be back in the office in 2020. Once you have these dates, let your clients know (I am sure they will understand) and put your out-of-office on. If there’s an emergency, you can be reached on your cell phone. With some downtime over the holidays, you can start 2020 feeling relaxed and ready for what the year may bring.

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