So it has been a year since you have launched your entrepreneurial venture and are unsure of how well you have progressed and the demand you have raised in the market?
It would be a good idea to test yourself on the grounds of your strengths and weaknesses and even your business strategies to assess how well have you been able to tap the growth areas of your start-up and move forward towards your professional goals and objectives.
This self-appraisal would let you understand if you are moving in the right direction towards accomplishing your long-terms business plans and strategies. This method would enable you to evaluate yourself as to how many goals you have fulfilled in the past year and what all is left to achieve so that you can start working on them and begin a phase that will clearly define meeting your short-term goals for the business.
The time when corporate companies assess their employees and offer them appraisals is almost here and you too as an entrepreneur are not barred from appraising yourself. Why not use this time of the year for chalking out your already accomplished goals and setting future objectives?
You also need to figure out if you are moving in your business as per the planned budget. If you had thought of following the lean operational strategy whereby you do not waste any extra penny, you can jot down the areas where you can cut costs for the future, focussing on other areas where some more money can be invested.
Also, how much time you need to spend on each department that you are working on and the tasks for which you need to devote more time are areas you need to rethink and gauge. An assessment of your time-management skills will help you understand if or not you need to hire assistants and executives for help in executing your job duties.
If you make presentations, spread sheets, workflow charts and project planners, they can well be an aid to your efforts at better time management.
As a company and an entrepreneur, you need to be versatile and have diversity and variety in the range of products and services that your company offers. This would ensure that you are trying your level best to sustain yourself and grow your business in the market and can be a good competition to other companies in the same segment.
Gauging your strategy to market and promote your products could be a good thing to do now as this is the time that hugely advanced technology has gripped the market and if you are not using cost-effective marketing techniques then you are at a loss of reaching a wider audience efficiently and productively. You can use promotion techniques such as exhibitions, free samples, social media marketing as well as blogs, e-mail newsletters and journals.
This can be a good time to ensure if all your staff is trained well and can even represent the business effectively. The staff should not stay in oblivion to any of the customer’s needs as this can lead to liquidated loss to your company and loss in tapping potential clients and generating further leads. Conducting polls on customer satisfaction and receiving feedback is a good way to know how the customer feels about your company and its services. You can conduct employee training programmes to improve staff training levels.
You can ask yourself questions like the number of customers you have acquired over the past few months, customer retention programmes and how many can you actually retain as well as the fact on whether you are offering better perks to your customers than your competitors.
Hiring good talents who share a similar passion on working with entrepreneurships and making sure that they are capable of fulfilling the company’s goals and expectations in the near future can be a good option now. You also need to ensure if the team knows the specific task it has been assigned.
Make sure your company’s culture is one people would look forward to working in.
Finding out better options for funding like crowd-funding and bootstrapping and your plans on utilizing these funds to the most productive usage and handling investor’s expectations are all viable options for self-appraisal.
Your growth levels with respect to holistic growth, customer satisfaction and the time till when your growth can be feasibly counted on and its transient or permanent nature also needs to be measured at this stage.
So use this appraisal time to do something constructive and fruitful for your business!
Happy Performance Appraisal!