December is #lookahead month

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Sean Creamer

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Sean Creamer

It may be hard to believe, but 2016 is almost here! I know what you’re thinking, “Where did 2015 go?” If you haven’t already, now may be the time to start preparing your business for 2016. Here are five things you can do right now to begin prepping for the New Year.

  1. Refresh those social media profiles
    Is your Facebook profile feeling a little stale? Now is a great time to update it. In a post for the Emerging Designer Melissa Hall says, “Think about strengthening your bio, adding in accomplishments and optimizing the real estate given to you so people walk away with a clear idea of your brand and can easily find your contact information.”
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  3. Review 2015
    “You can’t get where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” I’m sure we’ve all heard something along those lines in our lives. In a post for Lap Top Lounge Victor Mataraso says, “Look at your numbers (revenue, profit margins, and other key performance indicators), trends, and lessons learned. Document everything. Avoid having to re-learn the lessons by tracking evidence of what works, what doesn’t, and why. An impeccable record of your history is the best way to prepare for your future.”
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  5. Take a look at your team
    You can’t do anything without people, right? Monica Zent, Founder and CEO of Foxwordy suggests taking a critical look at who on your team does what in an article for Entrepreneur.com. She says, “You need to have the best people in the right positions equipped with the necessary resources to excel in business. Get your arms around who is on your team and how they are performing. Assess strengths while also addressing weaknesses.”
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  7. Get ready for Uncle Sam
    It’s way more fun to think about the time off you’ll hopefully be taking in the next few weeks then taxes. However, tax season is right around the corner and now is the time to start planning. According to this post from SurePayroll, “Year-end planning is in large part about tax preparation. Gather your financial reports, assess the data, review deductions and estimate your tax bill.”
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  9. Don’t forget your URL
    I don’t think I need to tell you how important having a presence on the Internet is to your business. In this article for The Tennessean Darlene Taylor Marsh suggests you find out if your URL is expiring in the coming year. She says, “Especially for small business owners, real estate on the Internet can quickly become an afterthought. However, should you be unaware that your URL is expiring in the coming year, that address can become fair game to anyone. Losing such a critical part of your company’s brand could be disastrous.”

This is only a sampling of things small business owners should (and can) do to prepare for the New Year. Throughout the month of December our bloggers will bring you more tips and tricks to help you and your business get ready for 2016.

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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