5 Key End-of-Year Evaluation Areas for Your Small Business

by Celia Cooksey

As 2023 winds down, now is the prime time for small business owners to thoroughly evaluate their company’s operations and performance in order to inform plans and changes aimed at incrementally improved success in 2024. Whether a retail shop, marketing firm, auto repair garage, accounting practice or any other small venture, strategically analyzing and preparing across these five key areas can bolster future success:

Financial Health

Conducting a full review of annual profit and loss allows businesses to directly inform appropriate pricing shifts and cost controls that bolster profitability looking ahead to 2024. For a small retail shop, that may mean bumping prices up 5% to account for higher supplier and shipping costs in the coming year.

  • Tally full revenue/expenses for accurate 2023 annual profit
  • Estimate Q4 numbers if still outstanding
  • Set pricing and costs for 2024 to optimize targets

Target Customers

Analyzing which customer groups truly drove revenue over the past year allows for realignment of services, messaging, and marketing to better speak to their needs looking ahead. A specialty bakery, for example, may find brides accounting for 80% of cake orders — this indicates opportunities to further cultivate the wedding market.

  • Identify revenue-driving demographics
  • Distribute survey to understand needs
  • Refine customer profiles and marketing focus

Brand Differentiation

Determining what gives your business a competitive edge enables you to evaluate ways to leverage that unique identity and reputation for success in the future. An accounting firm recognized for its exceptional customer service and rapid turnaround time can further spotlight those strengths in its branding.

  • Determine what sets you apart
  • Evaluate messaging and identity gaps
  • Brainstorm reinforcements if needed

Business Plans and Budgets

Armed with current data, owners can pragmatically set financial and operational projections and plans for growth in 2024. A veterinary clinic, for instance, might explore adding a mobile wellness clinic to reach new customers with plans to translate that to 20% revenue growth next year.

  • Update projections/budgets with latest data
  • Balance pragmatism with aspirational vision
  • Make key investments in future growth

Team Members

Boosting morale entering 2024 with transparent growth discussions and small tokens of appreciation can enhance team productivity. An architecture firm might do this by offering year-end bonuses and holding a luncheon meeting to discuss achievements, challenges, and professional development goals.

  • Discuss 2023 achievements and challenges
  • Explore untapped skills to fill gaps
  • Motivate with year-end bonuses and lunches


Dedicating end-of-year focus to thoroughly reviewing 2023 performance and strategically planning for 2024 across financials, customers, branding, budgets, and team members can pay dividends for incremental small business success in the year ahead.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy