Bridging the ending calendar year and crossing over into a new season prompts the usual business analysis – how did we do? Did we make a profit? What challenges did we overcome? What do we need to change? Performance standards give us the answers, but is there more information out there as well? Gaining perspective through an alternative method of review might help clarify issues that don’t flow directly from your company’s books.

Some business owners are rethinking goals and objectives developed only from revenue streams, looking at other sets of internal and external variables. They are asking questions related to their teams, customer satisfaction, cooperative ventures and the overall business environment, and reflecting on the essence of their company’s success from different perspectives.

Comparing what you projected as a successful year and how your company actually did in relation to those projections is one place to start. At the beginning of your season, you developed beliefs in what you could accomplish. Now, looking back, you can see how parallel the course was. The deviations in production, harvesting, preparation and sales provide information pathways which criss-cross over your projection. If sales didn’t measure up, you have the hard statistics and (perhaps just as important) a link to what was happening at the time. Thinking through – not just about – a challenge offers an alternative perspective to seeking out problem areas and making adjustments.

This type of thinking brings with it recognition of goals and objectives which succeeded or failed to produce the results you were seeking. One definition of recognition is the acknowledgement of validity – to validate a person, place or situation. Without the perspective of recognizing pieces of your business where adjustments are required, you may fall into a continuing trap of challenges without solutions. Where did teamwork break down? When equipment failed, how did you get production back online? Was the chain of transportation sufficient to deliver your product as guaranteed? Recognition validates that your goals and objectives truly are matching your resources and abilities.

Seasonal reviews spark the adjustments you need to realign systems and operations and begin again with renewed confidence in your vision, workers, partnerships and program. All businesses rise and fall throughout a sales season from situations which can be controlled, as well as unexpected quirks. Data tell you when and where something happened, but a wider perspective tells you how you performed and where to concentrate your efforts to do better.

As you take the time to look back and search ahead, think of gaining perspectives that go beyond sales data and revenue streams. Use these business standards as the beginning point, while searching for answers along parallel lines too. Adopt the perspective of your employees, customers, partners and buyers. Does this look from a different place help you project your path, recognize challenges and adjust your operations to align with your goals? Gaining perspective is like any other business tool – use it effectively and you have added a key component to your plan for success.

The information is provided for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business and legal counseling.