5 Questions That Will Have a BIG IMPACT on your Business in 2023


Christmas is around the corner and in 10 days' time, 2022 will turn into 2023.

At this time of year, I like to reflect on everything that’s happened in my business over the last 12 months.

And plan for the next 12 months.

To do this, I carry out an annual After Action Action Report (AAR).

AARs were developed in the military to deliver feedback after missions and training sessions.

They’ve also been adapted in business as a debriefing method for completed projects.

I view my business as one big project comprised of smaller projects that are carried out in short sprints during the year. Each project has an objective that helps my business achieve its annual goals and targets.

Completing an annual AAR helps to avoid failure and promote the success of my business in the future.

It helps me analyze:

  • What happened during the year;
  • Why it happened; and
  • How I can improve next year.

An annual AAR helps me learn from the actions and decisions that I took in my business over a 12-month period.

I do this by asking 5 key questions:

  1. What was supposed to happen in my business?
  2. What actually happened in my business?
  3. What went well?
  4. What didn’t go well?
  5. Where does my business need to improve in the future?

To answer these 5 questions, I look at the goals and targets I set for the business at the end of 2021.

Then I review the actions I took in 2022 to achieve those goals. If I took action that didn’t move me towards my goals, I ask myself if I did this and assess the outcome.

I look at the wins and losses of the business. Where did I produce the desired, or better-than-expected result? And what action didn’t produce the desired result.

I review the strengths and weaknesses of the business. I also make a note of any potential opportunities that I spotted for growing or diversifying the business during the course of the year.

After listing all these points down, I think about what changes I need to make in the business to increase my chances of success in the future.

Then I use all of this information to set my business goals and targets for the forthcoming year.

At the end of next year (and after completing every small project), I rinse and repeat the same process.

That’s it!