The Small Business Year End Review
December is always an interesting month. The holiday rush, parties, and juggling vacation schedules. For business, it marks a perfect time to take a hard look at the year completed. Many businesses focus on the financial results, and that's certainly important.
I keep it a bit more basic, and would boil it down to some broader questions:
What did NOT work?
What are things that made you smile?
What made you laugh?
What areas drove your stress level higher than you'd like?
What achievements can be recorded that serve as future building blocks?
What areas did you "tinker" with, what experiments did you run, and what did you LEARN from them?
How well positioned is your team headed into the new year?
How much are you planning to invest in growth?
Were you playing offense 75% of the time or 25% of the time? How can you shift that %?
Last: Do you enter the new year in a stronger overall position than you started?
If you answer the above questions, you have a pretty good basis for your "2019 Year In Review."
But I also like to go one step further.
Through the years I've tried to capture images that are meaningful and trigger memories, ideas and emotions worth capturing. I'll write a blurb on each one, too. Three years down the road I may not remember why I took it.
In my mind, they are often NOT the largest projects from a financial point of view (often quite the opposite), but they could be EXPERIMENTS worthy of further tinkering.
A snapshot of a few of ours pics & blurbs...
The PAVERART Team in Action
The heart of every business is the people inside of it. A small business is incredibly challenged, especially companies with a handful of employees. One person that leaves (for whatever reason) puts an incredible strain on the business. 2019 was a foundation building year at PAVERART. We had some people exit which is always a challenge, and we always hope for the best for their futures. We also brought in some new people and are energized at their willingness to learn our craft and grow alongside us. In the marathon of business, teams need time to gel, and managers need to set standards for the "who's, what's and how's" of building a team.
In 16 years of business, the PEOPLE category is always a journey and we like our chances to continue to get better in all things People....
Products, Customers, Organizations
The Autism Puzzle Piece Inlay by PAVERART: An idea "hatched" by a team member, who knows a mom with a child......
Many people are impacted, but we learned a new term: "Neuro Diversity" which recognizes and respects neurological differences among all people.
Brian McNulty (PAVERART Lead Designer): "We make puzzle pieces all day long, but we never made a REAL puzzle piece!" Seems like an obvious "fit," no pun intended....
How can PAVERART play a role in the community with our capabilities???
The Custom Compass Rose
We were blown away by this one. PAVERART has manufactured THOUSAND of Nautical Compass Rose designs over our 16+ years, but this one was special. Without going into detail, lets just say that every single piece of the design, from color choices, to the TRUE NORTH orientation of the install, the checkerboard banding and the custom center had very real meaning to the customer. We hung up the phone and said to each other: "That's unbelievably special. We forget too many times that we are making personalized outdoor art."
I bet many of our customers have similar stories. What would our possibilities be if we knew each of our customers stories?
Village of Patchogue NY Arts Council
A simple idea from the Patchogue Arts Council:
Beautify a walkway in a downtown district, but let's do it with a contest for local artists to create the custom "PAVERART." 5 great artists designs later and it comes to life.
Isn't it wonderful when towns use ART to bring people together? Should this be an idea worth spreading?
Rhode Island Firefighters Memorial
We've manufactured a BUNCH of Firefighters Maltese Cross and Custom Station Patches/ PAVERART designs over the years, and are proud of this particular project in Rhode Island.
But the video of family members of fallen firefighters? That tugs right at the heart-strings and reminds us of the very real meaning and impact our work has.
Year end reviews don't need to be complicated, but it sure helps to take some time to reflect.
Hope your 2019 was a special one, and wish you an even better 2020!