As a small business owner, you can’t spend too much time dwelling on the past. Instead, most your time and energy should be focused on growing your company in the future.

But before you leave 2017 in your distant memory, you should review the good, the bad, and the ugly. The lessons from the past year can help you grow your business in 2018 and beyond.

So, with that in mind, let’s examine three things you can learn by taking a look back at 2017:

1. How Your Customers Feel

You don’t have to look any further than your online reviews from 2017 to get a better idea of how your customers feel about you.

Were you able to score perfect reviews across the board? Did you miss the mark with some customers?

As you read through the reviews your company received over the past 12 months, pay close attention to any common themes. You’ll want to stick with the good and eliminate the bad.

2. How to Save and Spend Money

As you review your company’s 2017 finances, you hope to find that you saved more than you spent. You also hope to learn that you didn’t spend recklessly at any point.

Even if you know you’ll come across some details you don’t like, it’s important to take the time necessary to understand your financial successes and failures. Neglecting to do so could lead you toward trouble as 2018 wears on.

3. How to Reach Your Target Market

Maybe you had great success with content marketing in 2017. Or maybe you killed it on social media.

Reviewing your marketing strategy means paying attention to what worked and what didn’t. This allows you to tweak your 2018 strategy, all with the idea of more efficiently spending your time and money.

Marketing is the lifeblood of any small business, so make sure you have a clear idea of where you won and lost last year.

Final Thoughts

If you want to hit the ground running during the first quarter of 2018, it’s important to first look back at these important points from last year. It won’t take long, but it can have a big impact on your company as a whole.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!