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Using Lessons Learned From 2018 for a Successful 2019

Dustin Ray
Dustin Ray

Take note of the challenges you faced and come up with a game plan to tackle them in 2019.

Being an entrepreneur is no easy feat, but you survived a year. Some entrepreneurs fizzle out after a day, but you've made it at least 365.

A new year means reflecting back to take stock of everything that has happened in your business over the last year. You review your wins and losses. Hopefully, you had more wins than losses, but don't get discouraged if this isn't the case. Those losses or missteps are things you can learn from and can fuel your fire in the new year to help you and your business grow. That might sound like bad fortune telling, but it's true.

Take note of the challenges you've had to face and come up with a game plan to tackle them in 2019. And don't ignore the wins as if they're nothing – celebrate them. You worked hard, and it showed.

If 2018 was filled with lessons for you, it's time to take note of them. Here are some of the lessons you may have learned from 2018, as well as advice for moving forward into a successful 2019.

Financial organization

Lesson learned: Maybe your finances were a disorganized disaster. You overspent in some areas, felt like you lacked visibility with regard to large invoices coming in and, at times, expenses far exceeded income.

Advice for a successful 2019: Make your business finances a top priority. If you don't have an internal finance employee, consider hiring one. If you can't hire for some reason, then use a consultant or utilize online invoicing or financial management software to help keep everything organized.

Company structure

Lesson learned: Forming a limited liability company (LLC) was great for your business and helped protect your personal assets. Through any legal hiccups, you were grateful for your LLC status, which granted you certain protections.

Advice for a successful 2019: Re-evaluate whether an LLC is still the best business entity type. Is your company growing? Did you get a business partner? Maybe it's time to switch from an LLC to a C corporation. Unsure about what may be the best fit for your business? An online company formation service can help you quickly and easily determine a good path forward.

Management practices

Lesson learned: You might be an incredible entrepreneur, but perhaps you struggle at being a manager or leader. Those are two separate roles, and being effective at both of them can only help your business. Understanding how to communicate with your employees and inspiring them to produce their best work is essential to your success. Employees don't want to just follow an entrepreneur — they want to follow a true leader that they look up to.

Advice for a successful 2019: Attend leadership or management conferences. Talk to other successful leaders to get their perspective. Read books or articles to gain deeper knowledge on the topic. Ask employees and senior managers to provide you with feedback on your leadership and management style. Bottom line: keep growing. 

Image Credit: Hakinmhan/Shutterstock
Dustin Ray
Dustin Ray Member
Dustin Ray leads business development and growth initiatives at Incfile, a national incorporation service company specializing in business formation and small business services. He can offer great insight on everything business for startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers.