Performance reviews have made a huge difference for me, both as a solopreneur (because I want to hold myself accountable!), and as a multi-passionate business owner (so that nothing slips through the cracks)... which is why I’m so passionate about doing performance reviews—even when you’re the only person in your business.
But how, exactly, can performance reviews support your solopreneur business? And why do performance reviews MATTER, even as a sole proprietor?
In short: Performance reviews make you BETTER. They empower you to maintain great relationships with your ideal clients, improve your organizational skills, work with (rather than against) your personal strengths and weaknesses, and prevent any tasks from slipping through the cracks.
The more that you do performance reviews in your solopreneur business, the more that you will be able to identify what you are doing really well, where there is room for improvement, and how your various hats within your business can work together and support one another.
Performance reviews are a powerful way for you to grow your skillset, be very honest with yourself about your progress, strengths, and weaknesses, and encourage yourself to keep moving forward. Freelancing is hard! So it's great to make use of whatever help we can get. Performance reviews can really support you in that way.
Performance reviews also help you to more objectively assess a given situation with clients. If you’re having an issue with a client, you can use performance reviews to evaluate your communication style, where there was a misunderstanding, what boundaries you can put in place, and whether one side or the other was “in the wrong.”
When all of these pieces fit together, you’ll be able to communicate that much more effectively with clients and deliver incredible services that they’re really happy with. And that can happen very organically, in part, due to these performance reviews.
Lastly, performance reviews drastically reduces overwhelm, and empowers you to achieve your goals faster & more easily. I’m all about this as a productivity strategist! You can more clearly see your targets and focus on what’s working in your business.
It also helps you to take your business more seriously—so that it’s a BUSINESS, not a hobby. This is a very important distinction to make (especially if you are new to the world of business).
What can this look like, now that we know performance reviews are awesome and powerful? How do we do them? Well, it actually starts with the structure of how we build our businesses. I encourage you to structure your business like a CEO.
I really want you to start thinking of your business like a CEO. You are a leader. Solopreneurs need to cultivate discipline and project management skills, as well as leadership skills.
Even if you never hire a team or work with a business partner, you still need to be able to lead and manage yourself. And of course, this is also helpful if/when you outsource tasks to other freelancers, or if you hire a virtual assistant.
If we’re talking about doing performance reviews, we need to take this step back and first look at the structure of our businesses: How does everything fit together? I recommend using departmental structures within your solopreneur business.
For example, in my SaganMorrow.com business, I have 3 departments that I oversee as the CEO: Growth, Creative, and Operations. I don’t have a team—I’m one person. But I still have these different departments that I oversee, when I’m wearing my CEO hat. All of my multi-passionate projects fit underneath one of these 3 departments as different "subdivisions."
Every element within your business has its own purpose. So, if a particular project appears to fit under a couple departments, really think about, what is the ultimate end goal with this project? That should lead you to identify the best department for it.
Once you have designed your business departmental structure, then you can set everything up for doing regular performance reviews! In this instance, you are putting on your CEO hat, and you are assessing what you have done in each department for the past month. For example, if you have an Operations Department, Growth Department, and Creative Department, you’ll have three separate “meetings” with each of those department heads, and you'll assess your business through that one lens.
Pro tip: Do these monthly. You might be tempted to do these quarterly, but doing it monthly won’t make it feel like a daunting task, AND you’ll be able to remember everything. This happened to me recently—I skipped doing my performance reviews for a month, and it was wild how much stuff I’d missed catching by skipping those reviews. A LOT can happen in a month! So definitely make sure you do these on a monthly basis.
I typically do these on the first or second business day of a new month, so that I can review the entire previous month. I’d encourage you to do the same—block off time on your calendar at the beginning of the new month so you can do performance reviews of the previous month.
And there you have it! Remember, your performance reviews **make you better** at your job. They empower you to prevent anything from slipping through the cracks, they maximize your productivity, dramatically improve client relationships, and ensure that you treat your business like a true solopreneur CEO.
Want more help with setting up performance reviews in your own business? Wondering how to structure your monthly performance reviews, or what kind of questions do ask yourself during these solopreneur performance reviews, or how to track data and your progress?
I can help: get one-on-one productivity coaching with me today! We can set up your business departmental structure, design your performance reviews, and even guide you through your monthly performance reviews.