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What can you do to make a difference in 2023?
It’s always interesting to look forward and attempt to predict what another new year will bring. 
Interestingly (and, we would like to say, with remarkable foresight … but can’t) we didn’t do that last year. Whatever we might have predicted would probably have been wrong
However, we’re feeling both optimistic and brave this year, so we’ve been thinking about predictions and useful advice we can offer. 

Keeping in touch 

Our first prediction is that keeping in touch with your customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders throughout the year will build your business reputation and you will benefit from increased loyalty in the longer term. 
You don’t have to invest heavily in advertising or marketing campaigns. A personal approach will be best. Take time to explain how you are responding to the year's challenges, how you will continue to provide your products and services, andoffer useful advice and reassurance. 
Create a communication plan that covers all the important people for your business. Decide what will be useful or valuable to share with them and put time aside to make sure it happens. 

Embracing new ways of working 

It’s clear that the changes we have seen in working patterns and use of technology are here to stay. Even the most change-resistant organisations have seen benefits of mobile and remote working, and many that embrace new ways of working are benefitting from improved productivity . 
Make sure you take these new ways of engaging with people seriously and treat them as professionally as any other business activities. That includes: 
creating professional branded background for your online meetings (or at the very least, using one of the pre-loaded backgrounds) 
dressing appropriately for video calls and meetings and behaving with respect (no eating, texting or leaving the meeting to accept a home delivery) 
if you need to give a presentation, think about creating a video using the animations in PowerPoint so that you don’t have to speak to a screen for too long. 
converting previous face to face activities like consultations, briefings or shopping to suit a new remote way of working 
managing how you use the options available to you, for example thinking carefully whether an email would be better than a video call or setting up options to share documents and information on Google, OneDrive or Dropbox. 
for your own wellbeing, also think about how much time you’re spending using technology and have a plan to manage it. 

Reviewing, revising and reimagining 

Businesses that actively reimagine their products or services will be seen as proactive and positive, despite concerns about recession. This can only benefit your brand and customer loyalty in the longer term. 
It’s true that you can’t get your hair cut online, but plenty of hairdressers and beauticians have been inspored to give beauty tips and recommendations. 
Yoga teachers and fitness instructors have found they can be much more productive when they hold one-to-one online sessions with their clients as an alternative to home visits. 
We have seen how retailers and the hospitality sector are creating inventive new ways to engage with their customers and to provide services in different ways . 
The key is to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. 

Being positive 

Of course, the rapidly increasing cost of living means that there are plenty of things to worry about. However, we’re moving forward all the time, so it’s important to focus on the positive difference you and your business can make. 
This can include using your resources and skills to help people deal with the challenges they are facing. 
Support your employees to provide help in their local community or donate an surplus products to a good cause.  
Finally, think about what you will want to feel proud about, when we can look back on these challenging times from a different perspective. 
We’re always happy to help businesses share their stories, so please get in touch if you would like some advice or support. 
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