This is a great time of year to work ON your business, as January is usually a slower time of year for most small businesses. It's also the time of year that we personally pause and reflect on the past year and set our personal and professional goals for the new year.


Print out this checklist and use it for your 2011 planning.


What should you think about? First, gather your facts from the past year:

• What was your total revenue?
• What were your total expenses?
• How much did you spend on marketing?
• Did sales result from the different marketing techniques you tried?
• Which techniques worked best for you?
• How many new customers did you get?
• How many visitors did you get to your website? Is that number increasing each month?
• How many people are currently on your mailing list?

Next, think about your business goals for this year:

• How much revenue would you like to make?
• Will there be any new, one-time expenses?
• Will there by any new, recurring expenses?
• Are there any expenses that you will drop?
• How many customers would you like to have?
• How many new people would you like to add to your mailing list?

In addition, think about all those ideas you had for new products and services for the new year:

• Which projects would you like to start this year?
• Are there any projects you started in last year that just haven't panned out, and you'd like to drop them in the new year?
• What have your customers been asking for?
• Do you want to add new services, classes, books or audio programs to your business offerings? Is this the year you create a podcast or online video?

Finally, write a new version of your business plan and marketing plan for the year, incorporating all of the above, plus:

• Will you be going after any new audiences this year?
• Will you be dropping any audiences that didn't pan out?
• Has the vision or mission of your business changed?
• Has your competition changed?

© 2011 eMarketing 4 Business LLC