While you don’t have to make resolutions if you don’t want to for the new year, this is a great time of year to get yourself organized and decide where you want to take your business over this next year. Have you taken some time to prepare yet? These are some things you should do to get yourself ready for the new year.

1. Get Your Finances in Order

The end of the year means tax time is coming all too soon. If you’re paying quarterly estimated taxes, you have to be ready for those by January 15. But even if you don’t need to do that, you need to get ready for filing your taxes by April – although I’d recommend sooner if you think you’re getting money back.

If you use an accountant or bookkeeper, the sooner you get the financial paperwork they need over to them, the sooner they can take care of you. It’s just less of a scramble if you don’t both have to rush to get things done at the last minute.

2. Assess the Past Year

Was this a good year or a bad year for your business? What went right and what went wrong? Anything you wish you’d done differently?

This is an initial step in setting goals for next year. It’s hard to know where you realistically can go if you don’t know where you’ve been. You have to be sure that the steps you’ve been taking have been effective. If not, you need to figure out what’s been going wrong. Pay special attention to the things that went really, really right, and the things that just plain went wrong.

3. Review Your Business and Personal Goals

While I don’t do resolutions, I do like to have goals. It’s fun to meet them, even when they’re tough. Many relate to my business, but there are goals for me too, such as trying to get in better shape,.

Think about what you’d like your business to do over the next year, and make sure you consider how you’re going to get there. Saying you want to earn $5000 a month is a lovely goal, but if you have no idea how you’ll get there it will be much harder to reach. Make sure you include actionable goals, not just results.

4. Decide What Your Business Focus Will Be

You should always know what the main focus of your business is, and this is a good time to reassess what you’re doing. Do you need to change your focus slightly? What’s working for you? What isn’t?

5. Review Your Networking Strategy

How much do you interact with others in your home business? Are you taking the time to network with your fellow home business owners as well as with potential customers and clients? How effectively?

If it doesn’t come all that naturally to you, networking can be a pain. If it does come naturally, it may be one of those things you have to keep under control because it turns into excessive socializing that takes away productive work time. Or maybe you have it balanced just right. However things are going, take a look to make sure you’re networking effectively, whether online or in person.

6. Check Out the Competition

It’s a generally good idea to keep an eye on what your competition is doing with their business. While you don’t want to exactly copy their offerings, you do want to know how your own compare. Sometimes there’s inspiration in what others do, so long as you make it your own.

Consider the products and or services they offer, the look of their website, their website rankings, backlinks and so forth. You don’t want to be an imitator, you want to compare favorably to them.

7. Pick Something New to Try

Rather than stick to the same old, same old with your home business, settle on one new something you want to do with it. It could be video marketing, a new product or service you want to offer, a new place to network, a skill you’ve been meaning to pick up, something.

8. Par-tay!

Hey, it’s the new year coming up. Surely you get to have some fun.