Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle it’s easy to lose our focus on the new year ahead. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that you can do right after the holidays to get a jump-start on your New Year! asked me and four other creative entrepreneurs to share our year-end planning methods, favorite techniques, and tools in a blog post.

Below is my contribution to the article…

Art Business Tips to Jump-Start Your New Year

Like most other artists and crafters, I prefer spending time creating in my studio rather than crunching numbers and pushing papers at my desk. But as a creative entrepreneur, I know I must think like a small business owner.
The end of another year means a fresh start ahead. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to tighten my belt, and improve my organizational skills. Here are a few of my year end preparations to jump-start 2016.
Maybe a few of them will inspire you…
1. Declutter: This is the first order of business in getting ready for the new year! I am so busy; I am guilty of collecting clutter. I’d rather be painting and not wasting time cleaning my studio! But, research shows there is a direct correlation between productivity and clutter. Even if I don’t mind a little mess and disorganization, daily clutter definitely adds to stress, and chaos.
Did you know 75% percent of all physician visits are stress related? Decluttering can increase productivity, security and profits, while reducing workplace accidents and possible medical costs! Whether you have a small or large studio, it’s best to keep it shipshape!
So, I’ve already rolled up my sleeves and cleaned my studio for the New Year.

6 Business Tips to Jump-Start Your New Year

2. Out with the Old, and In with the New: Next, it’s time to organize all my paper files. One study found that the average person wastes over 4 hours per week searching for papers while reducing concentration and creative thinking! Having an organized filing system will save a lot of time and headaches.
6 Business Tips to Jump-Start Your New Year
3. Tame My Inbox: This is going to be a beast to tame! My email inbox has become a catchall for thousands of emails from many years. It’s time for me to face this dragon and start with a clean slate by deleting everything I don’t need. I’ve also been ‘unsubscribing’ to newsletters and other spam.
4. Keep A Travel Log: Each year, my accountant asks me to keep a log of my business trips including gas expenses, and mileage for tax purposes. I keep a journal, but I often forget to use it! This year I will be using a mileage tracking app on my iPhone. Here’s a list of the best mileage tracking apps for iPhone.
5. Tighten Up My Finances: My son has introduced me to an app called Mint. Mint makes managing my personal finances less daunting. It automatically pulls in all my financial information into one place so I can get the entire picture without having to call my accountant for advice. Now, I can easily track my bills, and investments.
6. Organize Business Cards: If you’re a networker like me, you probably collect your important contact’s business cards. Until recently, I organized them into a rolodex. But, now I’ve been using the nifty little business card reader app, CamCard. Just snap a photo of a business card, and CamCard will quickly scan the information and upload it to the folder of your choice on your phone! It’s easy to get organized.

Business card reader app CamCard

But most importantly, a positive outlook is one of the best things you can do to jump-start your New Year! Click here to read the rest of the article to help you create your own year-end review and planning practice. Wishing you a prosperous 2016. 🙂 ~ Lori