As we enter the second half of 2023, it’s time to ask ourselves a critical question: Is the destiny of our business secure or teetering on the edge?

By Guy Whitcroft

In a world filled with challenges and uncertainties, one practice often gets overlooked, but holds immense power – the mid-year review. It’s not just a check-in; it’s a game-changer that propels us towards success.

Let’s start by looking at the numbers. Revenue, profitability, costs, and cash flow – these figures reveal where our focus should lie. If revenue is down, we need to examine whether costs have decreased proportionally and find ways to boost revenue for profitability. If costs are up, where can we trim these without harming the business (and beware the knee-jerk temptation to cut marketing and training – this can hurt your business far more than any small savings will help it)? Cash flow suffering? Identify the levers out of balance and take corrective action.

But it’s not just about numbers. We need to understand how these figures impact the vision, mission, and values of our business. Engage your team in this process. Hold a brief meeting to present your findings and ask team members to delve into their specific areas, considering the impact on the broader organisation. Give them a deadline, setting a date and time for the full workshop meeting – typically between two and four hours, depending on the size of your team.

Now, the meeting. A clear agenda, minutes, and a chair are essential. Consider recording and transcribing the meeting for accuracy (there are some great software transcription tools available now, and some can go further, summarising it and providing action points). The CEO leads the discussion, with each team member presenting their findings and potential actions in concise summaries. Together, you’ll discuss and agree a set of actions including necessary changes to structure, resources, and strategies, to shape the remainder of the year, setting the corresponding objectives to ensure you achieve the goals.

A word of warning, though: resist the temptation to revise past budgets based on results. This undermines motivation and commitment as people will come to realise that goals don’t need to be achieved after all. Any changes should be made sparingly and align with the original goals.

Once the meeting is over, and the actions agreed, communicate the new goals and objectives with the company as a whole, reinforcing the company vision, mission, and values so everyone is clear on what lies ahead.

Every business plan reflects a tension between planning and flexibility; the mid-year review gives you the chance to strike the right balance and put your business on a path to greater success, to reset the clock and energise your team. Clarify your goals, foster a resilient mindset, and unleash your business’s potential.

In the words of Ernest Agyemang Yeboah: “End the first half with vigour; start the second with tenacity, and stay focused to the very end.” Embrace the mid-year review and navigate the looming storm clouds with determination.

Are you ready to undertake a mid-year review for your business? Secure your destiny and power through the rest of the year with resilience. Let’s make the second half count.

Are you up for the challenge?