How to Conduct an Effective Quarterly Business Review

How to Conduct an Effective Quarterly Business Review

Are you ready to wave goodbye to Q1 and say hello to Q2? In the world of business and entrepreneurship, the ability to learn from the past while simultaneously keeping your eyes on the future is critical. As we move away from March and into April the time has come to conduct a Q1 business review which, when done properly, can help you to reflect on the past quarter and launch you into the coming months with a renewed sense of focus and determination. 

So, without further ado, here’s everything you should keep in mind as you conduct your quarterly review.

Conduct Your Quarterly Business Review

Before making a strategic plan for Q2, you must first take some time to analyze the successes and failures of Q1. So, what’s the best way to do this?

Begin with Reflection

Use this time with your team to reflect on how the last quarter unfolded. Did you meet your goals for the quarter? If you did, examine how you were able to do so and use that information to plan how you will meet any new goals you create for the next quarter. If you did not meet your goals in Q1, consider what went wrong and how you can alter your actions to meet them in the next quarter. Was it a lack of planning or consistency? Was it an issue of limited resources or overreaching? 

Take an in-depth look at your performance in the previous quarter and make note of what needs to be altered (and equally important, what should stay the same) in the upcoming months to help you meet your goals in the quarter to come. 

Look at the Numbers: Successes and Roadblocks

Take the time to go over all of the wins and losses your company experienced in the last quarter. This should include not only the goals that were set for the last quarter but should extend to other quantifiable elements as well. 

Did you increase your client base or add new hires? Did you unfortunately have to lay anyone off or cut down on employee hours? Did your company or an employee reach a milestone, such as the number of years in business or time with the company? Go over everything involved with the achievements and obstacles of the last quarter and mine that information to help you gain perspective on your current position and find success in this next quarter. 

How to Prepare for Q2

Now that you have a strong grasp on the goings on of Q1, you can use the information to help you formulate a game plan and properly succeed in Q2. There are a few ways to do this to help boost your odds of finding success in your next quarter. 

Examine Your Goals

The performance of your last quarter will dictate the new goals you want to establish for the next quarter. Take note of your progress toward your overarching annual goals and assess the smaller milestones along the way. Do any objectives need to be shifted? Is your timeline realistic? Were there any Q1 goals that you failed to meet last quarter that should be altered or re-centered as you move into Q2?

If things went well, you may feel inclined to add several new goals to strive for in Q2 but be careful – you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. The momentum of a successful quarter is a powerful thing, but keep in mind that even your loftiest goals should be realistically achievable. Break things down into digestible steps and set goals for the coming months that will help you and your team to push yourselves and remember to stay flexible and take things in stride as the quarter progresses. Agility and adaptability are integral traits for the successful entrepreneur, after all. Use the lessons of your Q1 reflections to guide you as you create these new targets and focus on creating ambitious yet realistic goals for Q2. 

Evaluate the Workflow of Q1

Were you happy with the flow of your workdays in the past quarter? Did you or your team feel rushed or overworked? Or conversely, did you find yourselves with downtime that could be used more effectively to optimize your operations or improve your employees’ workplace satisfaction? What was the structure like on an average day, and how could it be improved moving forward? 

Many of us have had the experience of sitting in a meeting, either in-person or virtual, and thinking to ourselves “this could’ve been an email.” That’s exactly the sort of thing you want to avoid in your own company’s operations, and the transition between quarters is the perfect opportunity to reflect and refine.

Having a better understanding of how things went on a day-to-day basis throughout Q1 can help you organize your calendar for the forthcoming quarter. Do you need to block more time to work on projects or have more planning sessions? Taking the time to reflect on how your business flowed in the last quarter can help you make changes and improvements in the following months to streamline your processes and really hit your stride. 

Cut the Fat

Are there any programs or tools that you didn’t use in the last quarter? Any paid subscription to things you didn’t utilize? If there are, get rid of them. Maybe there were meetings planned that didn’t have the end results you expected, and the time would have been better suited doing something else. Take note of anything that cost you time and money and get rid of it for this next quarter. 

It’s the old adage: measure twice, cut once. The right amount of planning will always cut down on the time of execution, so interweave the things you learned in Q1 with your new goals to allow you and your business to be better prepared and reach new heights over the next 12 weeks. 

Download our goal-setting workbook today for a guided framework on setting ambitious and realistic goals and feel confident heading into the next quarter.

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Juliet Aurora

Juliet Aurora is the CEO of AIS Solutions and Co-Founder of Kninja Knetwork. Through both of these businesses she fulfills her mission to Educate and Empower those around her. In 2017, her firm was named Intuit's Global Firm of the Future, the first time the title has ever been awarded to any firm outside of the US. She has also has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting, one of the Top 50 Cloud Accountants and one of the Top 10 Canadian Influencers in the Bookkeeping Industry. Her passion for education is channeled through the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, hosting Kninja Knowledge Webinars and most recently, developing a Cloud Accounting Course for the next generation of accounting professionals.


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