New Year, New Business
by Tash Hughes of
A new year has
started and 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.
tips may be of use to get this year off to a great
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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!
ideas any time you want to start afresh – define your
own new business year as it suits.
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