clear-yes-or-no-answer-300x300It’s the time of year that most employees expect and receive a performance review. It gives the business owner or manager an opportunity to tell them what they are doing well or not as well, and helps both parties to set goals and expectations for the months ahead.  It is a key component of employee satisfaction and of employee engagement.  What about YOU, the small business owner. Who reviews you?

It is possible that you have a 360 review process in which your staff is asked to review you, or perhaps you have a partner and you have agreed to review each other.  Still, chances are you have neither. That means you will go another year without feedback on your performance.

You may say the business performance is your performance review, but that is not necessarily the full picture.  You are a key contributor to your business success, but it is not an indicator of the impact your performance has on the overall potential for success.  The way you run your business is YOUR performance.  The skills you use, the way you behave, the habits you keep, and the way you manage yourself are not always visible in the business outcome.

Everyone including the business owner can benefit from an examination of their performance. If you do not have others who will take the responsibility, then why not do it yourself?  A simple self-review can help you to identify areas of strengths and weakness and provide valuable information for goal setting for your future.

So, if you have 15 minutes and a willingness to develop and improve as a small business owner, then find a quiet place where you can reflect uninterrupted and follow the instructions below.

You will rate yourself on each of the areas listed below using one of the following performance indicators.  I recommend you write that word next to each statement.

Unsatisfactory – Marginal – Meets Requirements – Exceeds Requirements – Exceptional

  1. Works “on” the business.
  2. Works “in” the business.
  3. Uses resources in an effective manner including peers, partners, outsourcing.
  4. Plans effectively.
  5. Is accountable to plans.
  6. Has refined leadership skills.
  7. Is an effective role model.
  8. Manages time.
  9. Recruits effectively.
  10. Employee management.
  11. Generates revenue.
  12. Prices competitively.
  13. Expense management including having a budget and managing that budget.
  14. Invests in the future with training and development – self and staff.
  15. Sets clear boundaries – work and life.

Add up each category. How did you do? If you are like most small business owners, you will have rated yourself “Meets Requirements” in most areas with only a few “Exceptional” and a few “Marginal” or “Unsatisfactory”.

Now what? Take this list and use it as a springboard for goal setting in the months and year ahead.  Focus on your strengths.  Build on them! Give some time and attention to eliminating the “Unsatisfactory”. Then, mark your calendar to check your progress in six months and again this time next year. And, oh yeah . . . give yourself a raise!  You deserve it.