Year-end Business Reviews: What Worked?


As the year winds down, MSPs should review business plans to determine whether any changes are in order. Take a look back at the past year to see what has worked, what hasn’t, and what adjustments the business needs to succeed in the new year and beyond.

Every aspect of your operation deserves a look, from staffing levels to which business areas are profitable, to what new services you should consider adding. The point here is to assess how the business performed in the past year and how you can do better in the next 12 months.

This process of reckoning deserves serious time and effort, which can be difficult because December is a busy time of year. And let’s face it, there’s never an optimal time for a business owner or manager to drop everything to assess the business.

But if you never take the time to review what’s working and what isn’t, you’ll never figure out what should be fixed. Or if you do, it might be too late. So why not work business assessment into your schedule as the year comes to close? Here are some of the business areas you should review:

Service Delivery

Has your service delivery been as efficient and successful as it should? If not, you’ll need to pinpoint the reasons for that. Perhaps there are manual processes that should have been automated already. If that’s the case, start working on a plan to change it.

What’s Profitable

Your year-end review would be far from complete without an examination of what services and clients are profitable and which aren’t. If a particular offering has been breaking even or losing money, do some math to figure out how to add margin whenever client contracts come up for renewal or when you sign a new contract. If specific clients are unprofitable, find out why and then decide whether they are worth keeping.

What’s Left Undone

Were there projects you never got around to? If so, get to the root of what caused the delays. Did you keep running out of time? Did some unforeseen circumstance take priority? Is it an under-staffing issue? Whatever the answer, you have to first understand the issue before you can solve it.

Staffing Levels

Understaffing can seriously arrest business growth, so it behooves you to have a realistic perspective on how many people you should employ to properly run the business. If you’re hurting from under-staffing, develop a recruitment and hiring strategy to get some candidates in the door. Putting this off eventually will hinder your ability to take on new customers.

Looking Ahead

Once you’ve gone through the exercise of determining how your business performed over the past year, and what could have been better, you’ll have a much better basis for planning the next 12 months. So take the time to do an assessment. Your business will benefit from it.