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Start the New Year Right with these 3 Business Tips

Make sure your budget is up to date

If you didn’t update your 2013 budget in the fourth quarter of 2012, make sure to get to it as soon as possible. Some businesses have large budgets that require input from several persons in order to ensure it is accurate, and other businesses may have very small budgets. Even if your only expense is marketing and your own computer, put it down on paper (or on spreadsheet).

Tracking a business budget can feel tedious at times but it’s important. You need to know where your business is spending money so that you can measure that investment against results and make informed decisions for the years to come.

Revisit your marketing plan

What marketing efforts will your company utilize in 2013? Are you going to send direct mailings, grow campaigns on Facebook, send out a monthly newsletter or place advertisements on the radio, television or other media? When and how frequently do you plan to market your company through each outlet? Who is responsible and how will you measure their efforts?

Chances are that if you have a marketing plan already, it contains the answers to most, if not all of those questions. Revisiting it at least annually will help keep your plan ahead of the curve.  It’s better to plan ahead than to plan on catching up later.

Look again at your employee handbook

The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to make any necessary changes or updates to your employee handbook that haven’t been made throughout the year. Not only will any changes be easier to implement due to a mentality that supports change at the start of a new year, but you will establish consistency. Your employees will begin to look for any changes each year in the first quarter.

Keeping your employee handbook up to date is crucial as it serves as a primary source of communication between you and your employees. The larger a company is, the more important it is for employees to know the standard policies and expectations. If you have a company of one hundred employees, you probably won’t have the time to sit down with each of them, face to face, simply to outline any changes to employment policies at your company. A handbook is a tool, and like any tool, it works only as well as the people behind it.