Business Owners: Start This Year Right - Now!

It's January. You're wondering where to start your to-do list. Well January is for organizing and we have the exact "To-Complete In January" list you'll need.

1. Design a very short yearly theme.
I've been doing this for 5 years now and it works very well. Read more about this concept I learned at Coach U in this article:

2. Create a yearly business vision.
Hey, if you don't know where you're going, you may end up in a place you don't want to be. Vision statements aren't written in stone, but they're not to be taken lightly either.

3. Update your business and marketing plans.
To strongly reconnect with your business, help you get motivated and going, going, going, create a One Page Business Plan® - it's a business plan and marketing plan rolled into one document. Consider hiring a Business Coach who is also a licensed One Page Business Plan Consultant®.

4. Conduct a review of your ROI.
It's important that you know the return on your investment - time and money - for the year. What did you gain in return for your investment of time/money spent on your business? You'll need this for your marketing plan since you will want to do more of what worked and less of what didn't. Or you'll want to adjust what didn't work and do it differently next year.

5. Remove at least 5 things you're tolerating in your life by Feb 1.
That might mean really removing them, or doing them, or letting them go. Whichever it is, do it for you.

6. Start the year with a clean and organized office.
There is nothing better than walking into a room that welcomes you each day. Use these articles to assist you. Is it Time To Create A Terrific Home Office?; How To Make Your (Home) Office Reflect You; Minimizing Interruptions When You Work At Home

7. Clean out your computer's files:
a) Create a folder for last year and place last years work folders/files/work into this file. Back up those documents on a CD.
b) Create a folder for this year. Then I create sub-folders called: Publisher, Word, Excel, Access and a few others to start with. If you end up needing a file from last year, use it and then save it again as in this year's folder to keep everything current.
c) Open each of your programs, then go to Tools>Options>File Locations and set the default location for documents to the new files for this year.

8. Purchase a new year's worth of anti-virus programs such as McAfee and Norton.
Many companies selling office supplies run sales on them in the beginning of the year.

9. Update your browser and Office programs.
Update Windows by going to and downloading all the critical updates. Then check for Office Updates at NOTE: If you use Windows 98, update to ME or XP. Why? Microsoft will no longer issue any critical updates that might be necessary for that program starting 1/1/04. This will leave your computer vulnerable to numerous problems, including hackers and worms.

10. Get up to date on all your tax records and visit your CPA, ASAP!

© Maria Marsala. Home and main street business owners: attract more clients, get organized, and increase your bottom line. Use the same the blue-chip strategies employed by successful large corporations. I bring Wall Street expertise to America's business owners. Subscribe to Elevating Your Business Ezine now at

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