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Copyright 2005

New Year, New Business

A new year starting makes a great opportunity for refreshing your business, and life.

One way to refresh your business is to look at it like a new business, or one you are considering buying. Not only will this allow you to see things that can be improved, but maybe it will ignite more enthusiasm and new ideas.

The following tips may be of use to get this year off to a great start!

  •      Organise your desk. Not just get it tidy, but organise things so it doesn’t tend to get messy so much – maybe get some document trays, a new filing drawer or a pen holder. Make sure your chair and computer are set at appropriate positions for you.

  •     Organise your computer. Tidy up the files by deleting or archiving old items, establishing a clearer file system and renaming files to be easier to identify. Go through your favourites list and remove those you no longer need – and those no longer functioning! Within each program, set the default opening to be the area you most use.

  •      Sort your emails. Delete or archive old messages – consider a box for all messages more than 6 months old for instance. Add or change filters to be effective with the emails you now receive – having emails filtered can make it much easier to find emails for reference, as well as for establishing which emails should be read when.

  •      Update all computer systems. Many programs have easy systems in place for updates, and now is a good time to ensure you have the latest versions available to you. This is particularly important which anti-virus programs of course. If you have the budget, upgrade to newer versions of the programs, too.

  •      Update business plans and goals. Consider what has and hasn’t been working for the last year, and add in things from new knowledge gained during the year. Revise your marketing plan and schedule, too – maybe research more avenues for marketing first.

  •      Set a list of things to read this year. Maybe your list include two business magazines a month, one industry newsletter a week, a business development book each fortnight, or you might include some specific titles you have “been meaning to read” with deadlines for doing so. Remember that filling your mind with useful information will get you further than hours of worrying or complaining.

  •      Create a focus or theme for the year. Maybe this is the year you focus on marketing and spend time reading and learning about marketing, as well as doing your marketing. Or focus on technical aspects relevant to your business, again researching, learning and implementing. Obviously, your focus isn’t so important that you forget all other aspects of your business, but it can lead your choice in books, magazines and seminars, and be the lead for ‘spare’ moments.

  •      Remove some annoyances form your business before the end of January. Things you have been living with but been unhappy with are a waste of energy, so get rid of them. It might be making that phone call you’ve been procrastinating, throwing out the ugly lamp, repairing the broken shelf, replacing the cordless phone’s battery or buying a new chair.

  •      Determine where you are going this year. Once you have a clear goal, you’ll find it much easier to work towards that instead of just working. This is called a vision – it is changeable, but mostly constant.

  •      Get all accounting up to date. Chase outstanding invoices and orders, and make sure all of your dues are paid. Input all the data from receipts and invoices into your accounting system and file them accordingly. Collate all expenses from running a home office and enter them into your accounts, too, so they are ready for tax time. Sorting 6 months of receipts is much easier than 12!

  •      Research any professionals you may need this year. Maybe its time to use an accountant instead of doing your own BAS statements and tax returns, or you are planning a venture that requires legal paperwork. Maybe your printer has closed and you need a new one. Research these people now so there’s no panic when you need them in a hurry.

  •      Decide on one risk you will take this year. Or decide on how many risks you are willing to take! The risk will depend on your comfort levels; some examples are a bigger advertising budget, doing some charity work, offering a new product, expanding to new areas, changing business systems or taking on a partner or employee.

  •      Develop a schedule to fit in all the important things – allow for extras like reading, attending seminars, thinking, networking and administration, not just the obvious business work required.

  •      Check and stock up on stationary for the year – consider pens, erasers, paper, staples, envelopes, stamps and other things you use, even irregularly. Make use of the ‘back to school’ sales in January, too!

 Revisit these ideas any time you want to start afresh – define your own new business year as it suits.

 Happy New Business!


Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and is available to solve all your business writing problems! From letters to policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions writes all business documents to your style and satisfaction.
 

 

 

 

 

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