As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look back on what you did right in running your business and, more importantly, what you did wrong. By reminiscing on your business’s successes and failures, you can devise a business plan geared toward optimizing on its successes and preventing flops from bringing down company morale in the future. If you’re new to business and have never had the opportunity to analyze your company’s progress or you’ve simply never thought to do so, now is as good a time as any to learn how to scrutinize your business and look for the best opportunities for improvement.

Take a Look Back

Many people assume that successful people always look forward and never look back. This is simply not true. Any successful business plan begins with reviewing what worked in the past and what can be improved upon in the future. By taking a trip down memory lane, you can plan more strategically for greater success in the coming year, ditch outdated business models and identify missed opportunities so that you can leverage them in the future. Doing so can also help you better understand how your business is performing compared to others and what more you can do to achieve the goals you set for yourself and your company.

Measure Your Successes

With the mass amounts of data available today, it’s both easier and harder than ever to measure the success of your efforts. Tools such as Google analytics and dashboards can help simply your data and provide insights you may have otherwise missed. For example, Google analytics can show you how many people have visited your website within a certain amount of time, as well as which pages are most popular on your site, which search terms visitors use to find your site and more. Analytics such as these can help you visually see where your web design succeeds and where it falls short.

View Your Mistakes as Learning Opportunities

Once you’ve taken the necessary time to evaluate your successes, review your mistakes. Don’t just acknowledge them, however. Investigate them further to try and determine the root cause of them and what you can do to avoid them in the future. Do not oversimplify your mistakes, as doing so will not help you improve upon your business plan, but do not play the blame game either. Rather, just explore, as a team, where your company went wrong and what you can do, as a team, to avoid the same mistakes in the coming year.

Looking back on this past year’s successes and failures can help you better understand your business and what you need to do to make it better in 2019. For this reason, you should set aside quality time with your team and reminisce together to achieve a greater outcome.

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