There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha

A new year, a new beginning. A chance to make wrong right and to deliver on your inner most ambitious, hopes and loves.

Each year, in January, like millions of others around the world, I make new years resolutions. They tend to be ones that are relatively achievable or that are aligned to my values and/or dreams. By writing them down and looking at them each day, it gives me a reminder of what my hopes were for the year ahead. 

As an entrepreneur and business person, there are many things that I would love to achieve; worldwide domination, more visitors to websites, greater client experiences, more sales, bigger profits, improved employee engagement and the list goes on and on. In short, like most entrepreneurs and business people, I want to be better at business and I want everyone around me to see my visions become realities.

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. -Alan Cohen
New beginnings

Like most people, I wait for January. It's a time to not ony reflect on the year that has passed, but to fix a few things and put my vision into place. 

In 2013, most businesses will have plans in place to improve their business models, deliver greater financial results and improve their employee engagement, setting new KPI's and reinforcing to their employees and clients the value of the business and what mission, values and vision the company has.

In the US, many companies have felt the economic downturn and small businesses, who are the heart of the American economy, are the first to take things slowly given the financial strain that they have felt in the past few years. 

But the question is... when is it ever a good time?

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -Saint Francis of Assisi

Atlanta has an abundance of small, innovative business, reaching for the stars. Daunted by the continuance of economic turbulence and a few natural disasters that have rocked the US to the core, yet small business continues to survive and be the backbone for the US economy. 

Anything is possible - if you believe. I sat next to a woman at the airport the other day in Los Angeles and after having a chat about life, I asked her how she always stays so positive and energetic. She replied, "I remind myself every day that my life is fabulous and I have been doing it for 2 years now. It works!"

So as a small business owner, if you select three key words that are positive affirmations of life and your business direction, and repeat it day after day and remind myself - then it will happen.

If you change the way you see your business and look from the outside looking in, listen to feedback from clients and ask employees for their honest opinions on your leadership, business and what they would do if they were the CEO of the company - then you will have invaluable information to start the year with a business on track to being everything that you ever wanted it to be.

Marketing is one of the main areas in which small businesses reclaim their focus. An out-dated website could mean the difference between being an industry leader or falling by the way-side and having business that is struggling to survive.

Using public relations and social media in your marketing strategy will not only ensure that your brand has a voice, it will also allow you to connect with the people that you actually do business with.

In a business to business environment, if you are still ignoring LinkedIn, then drop everything. If you cannot afford a company to hire them for their expertise in this area, learn yourself by reading online blogs, tutorials and downloading books that help teach people how to use social media effectively in their businesses.

This year, the world is your oyster. Challenge the status quo, walk the opposite direction from your competitors and never be afraid to show others your value proposition.

Happy New Year!
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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