Tips for doing a business review

by Armando Bartolome

Posted at Aug 22 2014 04:14 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2014 12:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Every year companies conduct and review what transpired during the year. Most of the time this review and planning begins on the months of August and September.

There are some, which even hold it outside the company premises in an out of town setting. Good or bad everything must be laid on the table for discussion. Complete transparency is necessary to identify strategies for the next year.

Micro and small businesses are also encouraged to do similar actions. After all, knowing and studying the situation enables the entrepreneur arrive at a better position.

Here are some tips, which may be helpful:

1. Keep a logbook of daily events.

This records everything, which transpired in the business on a daily basis. This begins with noting the day's weather. When there is a review of sales, often we forget what occurred or worst, trust our memory, thereby not providing an accurate report.

An entrepreneur can include practically anything, which may be relevant. This may be products, spoilage, customers’ feedback, festivities, and promotions.

2. Year or month-to-month inventory

The business must know exactly the status of the products, raw materials or other goods. If there are several branches, management has to be thorough. Never rely on just figures on paper or computer. It may be smart to conduct a physical count.

In food chains, they adhere to following the principle of first-in-first-out (FIFO). I spoke with an entrepreneur and he could start his inventory. Asked why, he said there are just too many to count. Now the decision to do it must begin with an end goal in mind.

3. Assets inventory

A business will not function without having tools of the trade. These may be computers, special tools, equipment and vehicles. Part of the review is to track where these are, the condition and most of all if there has been a return of investment. If the equipment keeps breaking down and repairs are getting costlier, may be wise to look for a replacement.

4. People skills

I have come across an entrepreneur who considers this most important part. Assessing the skills of the people in the company is important, as they are the foundation of the growth or stagnation of a company.

An example is keeping a file of each individual on the type of training or seminars he/she has been exposed to. The company may spend for the employee to undergo training.

The question is how far and how much has the individual contributed back to the growth of the company. In one of the government agencies where I often give seminars, I was amazed at the investment for each employee to attend all related training courses. Some are even sent overseas to undertake postgraduate studies for at least two years in one of those Ivy League universities.

5. Public exposure

Another area to consider is the level of exposure the business has been. In the world we live, media is on the quad level. We have the print, radio television and social.

Though not everybody can afford to be having a TV ad or newspaper ad, there are other alternatives, which an entrepreneur may be exposed. An example would be getting people to write about the business or product in their blogs. Another is joining a trade show. Participation in events is an investment. Choose which event to join and check the background of the organizer. Find out the kind of visitors who go and if they fit your target market. Do take time in the design as well as the message about your brand.

Given the above are followed, the entrepreneur need now see the strategies he and his team may want to adapt. Consider thinking outside the box to establish a unique selling proposition (USP) of the business. There is always a room for a winner.

For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email: [email protected] His website is