November is disappearing faster than you can say “Christmas is ages away,” and soon it will be the New Year. Are you prepared for the busy season ahead?

There’s so much to do before the year draws to a close – putting up Christmas lights and the tree, buying presents, and shopping and cooking for all the events and parties. It can be easy to forget in the fluster of activity that the New Year (with all its fresh starts, resolutions and new to-dos) is just around the corner. Are you prepared for 2014? Don’t let January arrive and find you disorganized. Be ready with these top ten tips thanks to Brisbane small business adviser Heather Smith…

1. If the holiday period is quiet for your business, take advantage of it

Shut down for a few weeks; let customers know in advance, and encourage staff to take the time off too. Switching off entirely can help you recharge and re-energise batteries in preparation for 2014.

2. Go over business expenses

Are there opportunities to minimise expenses by combining bills such as insurance? Can you renegotiate the expense or eliminate it altogether? Something once seen as essential might not provide real benefit any longer, and the money can be better spent elsewhere.

3. Review and update your budget forecast

Refresh through to 30 June with the current knowledge you have about the market.

4. Brainstorm for the new year

Think about opportunities that can be exploited in the New Year so you have a plan after the break.

5. Identify dated marketing material and documentation

That ©2013 at the bottom of your website needs to go.

6. Spring clean the office

Identify if obsolete technology and equipment can be disposed of, donated to charity or sold. Maybe some of the sold items can help pay for the Christmas party!

7. Go paperless

Work out if old paperwork can be shredded, or sent to a service for optical character recognition scanning to be kept digitally. This will free up storage space, save money on stationery and help the environment!

8. Check off-site back up systems

If back-up systems are time consuming or inadequate, look into online systems that back-up in real time. If your building burns down and the office computers are destroyed, at least all your data can still be accessed remotely.

9. Review and curate your client list

Take the opportunity of the upcoming festive period to reconnect by sending an informative and useful festive greeting. Remind clients what the business has to offer and include a call to action, like a discount voucher they can use in 2014.

10. Re-evalUAte your existing accounting processes

Are they cumbersome and time-consuming? Have you updated your systems to the latest online solutions? What can be improved for 2014?

Taking the time to detox a few areas of your business means 2014 will start in the best way possible.


Are you prepared? and if so what tips would you add to the above to help othes?