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4 Things Every Business Should Do in January

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Whether or not you are one for New Year’s resolutions, January is the perfect time to reflect, reset and review business goals. While different industries work to different calendars, the beginning of the year is always a great opportunity to establish a vision for the coming 12 months, while also bringing your company back together. That said, between the downtime of December and the hectic first week back, it can be easy to overlook some essentials, so here’s a quick task list every business should tackle to kick off the new year.

1. Hold a company offsite for team bonding 

Now that so many employees are back from different holiday schedules, it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page — especially when email boxes are likely overwhelmed, passwords forgotten, etc. One of the best ways to ease back is to give the team a company offsite day to catch up, bond and shake off January “scarys.” 

Think of this as an opportunity to also align on big ideas for the coming year, and put together a plan to make them happen. To do this best, it’s preferable to remove yourself from familiar surroundings like the office, or even your home city. Taking time away with the team is one of the best ways to build culture, morale and alignment.

Related: 8 New Year’s Business Resolutions That Will Keep You Energized

2. Complete your accounting and KPI reconciliation 

A reflection on the previous calendar usually coincides with excitement for what the next 12 months might bring, including an abundance of ideas about where to devote finances and how they should be prioritized. There’s no better way to feel refreshed and ready than to tie up the accounting and close the books; this might mean paying or chasing outstanding invoices, recording end of year expenses and reviewing external contracts.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) is thrown around as a bit of a buzz-phrase throughout the year, until you get to the point where you actually have to evaluate if they have been met, because reviewing your KPIs and finances together is important in ensuring that realistic, measurable goals for the year are backed up by numbers. This is also a good opportunity to reflect on whether you have been reviewing your KPIs frequently enough, which also means taking an objective look at your business to understand where you are succeeding and where you’re having challenges. This helps to prioritize what are the most immediate opportunities for your company and for your team.

Related: 3 Steps to Set Up Sales KPIs That Actually Work

3. Build your year’s budget

Once you have a clearer idea of how the company performed over the last 12 months, it’s time to start budgeting for the next dozen. This is the perfect opportunity to ask if there are areas where you can scale back and/or if there’s something more pressing that could be made a priority. This might be a project you have been putting on the back burner until you closed the books, but is finally ready to be launched. Your budget is inevitably tied to everything you do, so going into the near year with a realistic idea of what’s achievable will help keep you aware of goals that are within reach. It’s also a good time to also look for opportunities to put more money into employees, whether in the form of salary, paid time off or perks.

4. Present a year-end recap

Once plans are solidified, senior management is on the same page, the books are updated and your KPIs are accounted for, it’s time to get the rest of the company updated. You can put together a year-end presentation, combined with the plans for the rest of the year. The best businesses are the ones that win together and lose together, so by collectively identifying where your company had strengths and weaknesses, everyone can set goals.

While presentations can be both dry and slightly intimidating when outlined in numbers and charts, they can also be an opportunity to celebrate all the wins and the hard work of your staff. And remember the best presentations are conversations: they are engaging and bring in the entire team to contribute, which gets everyone involved and feeling as though they are part of the whole. 

Related: The Only New Year’s Resolution Entrepreneurs Should Make This Year

If 2020 and 2021 have shown us anything, it’s how quickly time can fly by, especially during unprecedented times, so this is the perfect time to get on top of things before this year starts getting away from you.

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Dune: Awakening is an open world survival MMO

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Dune: Awakening made its debut at The Game Awards as an open world survival massively multiplayer online game.

The game from Funcom and Nukklear looks beautiful, full of very detailed imagery of the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The game asked for beta signups, but we got no other information. Survival is the key word. Dune is a very deadly world, with sandworms and an unforgiving climate.

You can see places in the trailer like the city of Arakeen by day and night, as well as desert biomes and more. It’s not clear when it is coming. With luck, it will be close to the second Dune movie coming in late 2023.

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Rumors confirmed, Street Fighter 6 kicks off in June 2023

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Fighting Game fans are excited now that Capcom announced that Street Fighter 6 is coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and PC on June 2, 2023. The game was initially announced in February 2022, but that reveal did not include a specific release date beyond 2023.

The trailer at The Game Awards focused on new mini games and the international setting. In addition to the 18 previously announced fighter, the trailer also confirms that several new fighters — Dee Jay, Manon, Marisa and JP — that will join the game’s roster.

Notably, the June 2 release date for Street Fighter 6 may be a strategic choice for Capcom. June is the very beginning of Q3.

The last installment of the franchise — Street Fighter V — released nearly seven years ago so fans have been eager for another installment. A day before The Game Awards, the game’s June release date was leaked via the PlayStation Store.

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5 Things to Do Now to Propel Your Business in 2023

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship is a daily leap of faith. In times of economic uncertainty, that leap may feel like a dive off a cliff. We are in one of those times. It likely will take months to fully re-adjust to the forces that have pummeled the world’s economy, and to entrepreneurs, months can feel like years.

With the right playbook, entrepreneurs can survive and thrive in whatever economic scenario. Here are five things you can do to propel your business ahead now and through the difficulties of business cycles for years to come.

1. Learn the lessons of more challenging times

A rocky economy presents a unique opportunity to make tough decisions about the business plan. Everything is open to reexamination. How has the market changed? Are your customers facing challenges that create new opportunities for your solutions? How do new conditions change your assumptions, and what actions do you need to take in response?

Critically evaluate your product roadmap. Is this the time to pivot or become more aggressive with your current plans? Prioritize the highest margin features that are achievable in the next twelve months. Push out projects that don’t make that list, and re-assign resources accordingly. Re-assess pricing. Even as inflation tiptoes back from the highest levels in forty years, raw material and transportation costs remain way up. What will impact your customers if you adjust the pricing or add surcharges to offset these costs, at least temporarily?

It’s been a rough year for hiring. Many companies took the talent they could get. If there are employees or gig workers who would fare better in a different job, now is the time to let them go. Make tough-minded corrections that will pay off overall — corrections that might be avoidable in less challenging times.

Related: How to Turn Inflation and Recession into Your Largest Business Opportunity

2. Tighten your grip on cash

Venture capitalists are pulling back. In the third quarter, Crunchbase reported that funding for startups in U.S. and Canada fell 50% year-over-year. Valuations are down across the board. If you are fortunate enough to be a later-stage startup that benefited from VC largess in 2021, make your last raise last longer than intended.

Keep your dry powder dry, and put off going for another round until the markets even out. Reemphasize the basics for early-stage companies with less market validation and greater distance between now and a potential exit. Delay all capital expenditures. Leverage the hybrid work model if possible, to reduce rent and other office expenses. Continue with Zoom or Google Meet. Now is not the time to rack up travel costs. Re-negotiate fees and terms with service providers. Seek credit terms with key suppliers, in a word, bootstrap.

3. Talk to customers, in person. Now.

How have the business needs of your customers — whether paying or beta — changed over the last 18 months? Are there benefits to your solution that have more recognized value now? Nearly every business, for example, from corporates to startups, has been forced to re-learn the lessons of supply chain management. Startups that can help their customers make better business decisions based on artificial intelligence (AI), reduce costs by improving inventory management or protect against out-of-stock scenarios by identifying and building relationships with new, more local sources of supply will have an edge.

Related: Finding Validation in Serving Customers

4. Non-dilutive capital

According to PitchBook, venture capitalists are showing greater interest in portfolio companies “whose satellite, robotics and software tools can do double duty” in military and commercial markets. International conflicts are one reason, of course.

Another is that the defense and military security industries are generally viewed as recession-proof. Our firm routinely encourages portfolio companies to consider non-dilutive funding from the Small Business Administration — grants to support cutting-edge technologies range from $150,000 to more than $1 million.

Navigating the application process isn’t for the faint of heart. A startup must be realistic about the work involved, but in many states, there are resources to help. Besides the funding, severe responses to agency requests for proposals are reviewed and evaluated by technologists. At a minimum, this can be terrific feedback and a great source of industry contacts.

5. Blue-chip cultures attract blue-chip talent

Company culture can be an asset or a liability. An inclusive, rich culture helps key hires say yes. Finding stakeholders that believe what you believe and are aligned with your team’s values significantly improves the odds that they will stick with you in good times or bad.

After months of “great resignation” fever, the over-heated demand for talent may be cooling off. Maybe offers aren’t as fast or grand as they were a year ago. Maybe Twitter won’t be the only advanced technology business to let people go. Regardless, the search for great talent isn’t a faucet that a young company turns off and on. A startup might modulate the timing or the number of hires but stand at the ready to recruit and filter for culture fit.

Related: 3 Ways to Stay Competitive in the War for Talent

With the right mindset and intentional approach, an entrepreneur can make 2023 a year to strive and thrive. As Yogi Berra, my favorite baseball player of all time, said, “Swing at the strikes.” In business, like baseball, the right swing can turn even the most challenging pitch into a hit.

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