Every business has goals, and most often, those goals are set at the beginning of a new year. Since businesses ebb and flow, it’s important to make time to do a mid-year check-in on your business goals.
We don’t mean take a little time to look at what goals you set for the year to remind yourself what you are looking to accomplish. That is not doing a mid-year check-in.
We mean blocking out time in your calendar sometime early in Q3 to review the past 6 months. A review that is more in-depth and can help set you up to finish out the rest of the year with your goals in mind. And don’t forget that your business goals should include you; your mental, emotional, and physical health are important for your business.
What is the Goal of a Mid-Year Goal Check-In?
It’s a common practice to set goals at the beginning of the year. Many small pet business owners will block out an afternoon or a day to set goals and create action plans. But the mid-year goal check-in is something many business owners overlook.
By blocking time for a mid-year goals review, you can evaluate the results your business has year-to-date. When you evaluate these results, you gain the insight needed to adjust, add, or remove your goals for the second half of the year.
Too often, small businesses just keep chugging along without doing a review of where they are. This can lead to feeling unfulfilled, feeling unsuccessful, and feeling lost in your business.
The mid-year goal check-in allows you to get a full view of your business, including your own well-being in operating said business so that you can make informed decisions about the growth you are planning to achieve.
Ask Yourself These Mid-Year Check-In Questions
To help you complete a mid-year goals check-in, grab your favorite note-taking device and answer this group of questions. It’s important to write down or type out answers. You want to be able to review the answers as a whole after you complete the questions.
To help guide you through the process, we’ve grouped together our recommended mid-year check-in questions.
Questions About Your Goals:
- Are your goals SMART goals?
- Are your goals for the year or each quarter still relevant and aligned with your business vision?
- Have any unforeseen circumstances or changes in the pet industry affected your ability to reach your goals?
Questions for Evaluating Your Results:
- What is your current result for each of your goals?
- Are you on track to achieve each goal?
- What are the main factors that may have affected your goals, positively or negatively?
Questions to Consider for Adjusting Your Goals:
- Which goals need to be revised or even dropped based on the data from the first half of the year?
- Are there new goals that you should create based on unexpected growth, industry happenings, or your current life situation?
Questions to Reflect on Your Successes:
- What has been your most significant accomplishment during the first half of 2023?
- What attributed to the success?
- What can you learn from the success and implement those lessons for the second half of the year?
- Did the success cost you anything that should be considered? Mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, or anything that was unexpected?
Questions to Help Identify Areas That Need Improvement:
- What have you learned from the last 6 months of running your business?
- Are there any surprising obstacles that you did not imagine earlier in the year?
- How are you feeling about yourself when it comes to your business? Are you keeping your mindset and mental health a top priority?
How to Do a Mid-Year Check-In for Your Small Pet Business
A mid-year review is more than answering the questions above. In order to do a complete review, you should include each of these steps.
1 – Schedule Dedicated Time:
Block out time in your calendar during July or as soon as you can during Q3 to take a thorough look at each of your goals and results. Also, make a note for next year so it’s your calendar that reminds you about your mid-year goal review.
How much time to block will depend on the size of your business. We recommend blocking at least 2 hours to start.
2 – Gather the Relevant Data:
Collect the data that ties directly to the goals you are reviewing, such as site traffic, social growth, conversions, sales, testimonials/customer feedback, email marketing stats, and anything else that is tied to a goal you created at the beginning of the year.
It helps to create a place to keep all of your data points. We use a simple Google Sheet to track it all.
3 – Assess Your Goals and Their Current Alignment and Progress Using the Questions Above:
With the data in hand, go through each of the questions above. Once you have everything documented, review the information. Documentation is just the first part of this step. Next, you need to evaluate the information and note whether you are good and on track, or you need to reconsider the goal or its expected results.
4 – Make Decisions About Your Goals for the Remainder of the Year:
Now that you know which goals are on track, which ones are not, and which ones may simply no longer align with your business, you can create your second half-of-the-year goals.
This mid-year check-in should help you to refine your focus, remove any goals that are not going to serve your business as you believed earlier in the year and adjust or continue with your new goals for the remaining half of 2023.
Take the time to conduct a mid-year goal check-in and embrace this opportunity to reflect, realign, and refocus your small pet business. By gathering the necessary data, asking yourself these insightful questions, and making informed decisions about how to proceed for the rest of the year, you will maximize your chances of achieving success. Success as defined by you, of course.
Have you already done a mid-year check-in for 2023? If so, we’d love to hear how it went for you! If not, is it in your calendar?
About the Author: Chloe DiVita is an original BlogPaws Executive Team member. She’s been in the pet industry since 2009 and loves leading the PetBiz Collaborative, a membership group for small pet businesses, with Jessica Shipman. She also LOVES speaking and if you put her in front of a camera she’ll talk until you tell her to stop. It comes in handy as Executive Producer for TEDxCambridge and Co-Founder of The Mike Drop Method public speaking training.