Looking back: how to leverage your end-of-year review for an even greater 2023
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Looking back: how to leverage your end-of-year review for an even greater 2023

We blinked and suddenly it’s the end of another year.

Freelancing is never a basket of roses, but we hope it’s been a positive year for your business overall, with appreciative clients and plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

You’re probably already in the habit of taking some time out to reflect on your year in business when this time of year rolls around.

If you’re not, then this year is definitely the year to start.

Because the insights you get from looking back will help you move forward with purpose, building on everything you’ve learned in order to make 2023 even better.

Before we get started on how to get the most out of your end of year review, we just wanted to remind you to be kind to yourself. Treat reviewing your own business like you would reviewing your best freelance buddy’s business.

Give credit where credit is due! Make sure you recognise everything you’ve achieved and improved on, as well as acknowledging things that didn’t go quite so well.

And be sure to take note of the small things that have changed in your business, as well as the big things. Small, subtle shifts can actually be the most significant.

Now, here are some of the areas we think it’s a good idea to focus on when looking back at your year in business.


What have you been up to in terms of CPD (continuous professional development) over the past year?

As you well know, as freelancers we’ve got to be constantly learning new things or improving on existing skills.

But you might not have considered just how important it is to keep a detailed record of everything you do in terms of CPD. Only by being clear on exactly what you’ve invested your time and money in this year can you assess whether it was well spent, and decide what you should be focusing on going forwards.

Take a close look at the CPD you’ve completed this year, perhaps dividing it into categories like language skills and business skills.

Take some time to reflect on what’s provided you with the most value. Did you find a particular course especially rewarding, interesting or enjoyable, or have you won new clients as a result of it? What CPD have you done that’s made the biggest impact on your business or your mindset?

Don’t forget to include self-guided learning like reading, language exchanges or even watching films or series in your source languages. Yep, even the CPD that doesn’t really feel like CPD!

It’s also a good idea to think about any CPD you might have done that, in the end, really wasn’t worth your time or financial investment. That’ll help you make more informed choices about what you should be focusing your learning on in 2023.


Next up is something less quantifiable than measuring the hours you’ve spent perfecting a certain skill. But it’s even more important.

The mindset you have in your business is what will determine how successful it is, and how you feel whilst beavering away at your client work and marketing, day in, day out.

We’ve written a whole blog about what a growth mindset is and how to get into one. Have a read, and then have a think about how you’ve approached this year in business.

Has your business been growing? Are the steps you’ve been taking in your business things you really want to do, or are they based on someone else’s idea of success?

If you think there’s room for improvement in your mindset, perhaps that can be a priority for you in 2023.

Self care

On a similar note, how has your self care been this year? Have you been overdoing it, or have you been giving yourself the R&R you need to be able to do your best work?

How many days have you taken off this year? If you don’t know, maybe 2023 is the year to start keeping a running total. You might be surprised at how low the figure is.

Were there any points when you felt like you were verging on burn out? Did you spot the signs and take a break? Do you feel like you’ve made your physical and mental health a priority?

You are your business, so it’s incredibly important to learn from your experience and not overdo it.

You might have had an incredibly successful year in terms of earnings and CPD, but success has to be sustainable. So, if you’re burning the candle at both ends, 2023 should be your year for finally putting your health first.


Take some time to consider each of your regular clients. If you’re an LSP.expert user, you’ve got multiple handy reports that will provide you with all the numbers you need for this.

Look at how profitable it is to work with each of them, and the amount of time you’ve dedicated to each of them over the course of the year.

Think about whether you really enjoy working with them, and what it is about your working relationship that you value the most.

All that will help you decide whether you need to take any action to kick off the new year, whether that’s raising your rates or saying goodbye to clients that you neither like working with nor make sense for you financially.

It’ll also help you pinpoint exactly the kind of clients you’d like to find more of in 2023.


Last but not least, a review of your business year wouldn’t be complete without reflecting on the financial side of things. Because no matter how much you love your business, if it’s not generating enough income to support you, it’s not sustainable.

Whether you use software like LSP.expert or have a different system, it’s time to crunch the numbers.

Look at how much you’ve earned, and how that compares to previous years. Look at how variable your income has been from month to month.

Don’t just take the figures at face value. Use your time tracking data to establish how many hours you’ve worked to generate those figures. For example, if you’ve earned the same amount but worked fewer hours, then that’s a very positive result.

You’re the only one that knows what success looks like for you. Consider the figures through that lens and that’ll help you set an income goal for the year to come.

Set goals for the year to come

Once you’ve looked back on the year just gone, it’s time to make a plan for the year to come. You need some clear, concrete goals to help you make progress.

Take the time to think about where you really want to be this time next year and how you’re going to get there.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so we’ve written a whole other blog about setting goals for your translation business and actually sticking to them.

Keep your review and goals somewhere safe so you can look back on them regularly

To really feel the benefit of an annual review, it can’t just be an annual review. Check in with your progress and your goals at the end of every quarter, at the very least. Bonus points if you check in at the end of every month.

However you choose to organise yourself, let LSP.expert be there week in week out to keep your business ducks in a row and make sense of all the numbers.

Our reports make periodically reviewing your business quick and easy, with all the information you need in front of you in black and white.

If you’re not using LSP.expert yet, kick off the new year with our free trial and see for yourself just what a difference it could make.


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