2020: A Year of Reflection and Looking Ahead to 2021
No doubt the year 2020 will be documented like no other. A global pandemic disrupted lives from every corner, social justice has taken the forefront, and a double-dip recession threatens. For SMEs there was also a just of uncertainty, and this time it wasn’t because of the forcible changes of consumer habits. The engine room of the British economy took a direct hit, but we all undoubtedly rose to the challenge.
2020 was a year of dependency, and it was clear at the start of the pandemic that much like a thriving eco-system, we are at our most stable and productive when we are working together as one. We became peers instead of competitors, introducers instead of imposters, and friends instead of barely acknowledged neighbours. Through a new breed of speed, we witnessed businesses switch to agile strategies and the ability to pivot to survive, through the power of a community.
At Prosper², 2020 was a year to grow and flourish. We harnessed the idea of bringing different aspects of business together by creating a business community to be proud of.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
In a recent piece with Retail Times, Prosper² Commercial Director, Gerald Bradley spoke about how despite the challenges the pandemic threw at us last year, “we decided to look after our staff, increase our engagement with our members and invest for the future”.
In a bid to invest in the future of Prosper², we recognised the need to nurturing our community, our people and our online presence by recruiting new talent to the Prosper² team. We were delighted to welcome, Sue Gee as Business Development Director, Lisa Karran as Community Development Director, Grace Hoodless as Social Media Coordinator, and Katharine Noble as Sales Administrator to our team.
(Pictured left to right, Sue Gee, Lisa Karran, and Grace Hoodless)
“DUE TO TRAVELLING 1-2-1 MEETINGS HAVEN’T BEEN POSSIBLE WHICH HAS ALLOWED ME TO LOOK AT THE WIDER PICTURE, AND ENSURING I FIND THE BALANCE. ESSENTIALLY, IT HAS ALLOWED ME TO FOCUS MORE ON THE STRATEGY RATHER THAN THE DISTRACTIONS.
BEING ABLE TO RECOUP HAS ALLOWED ME TO RE-STRATEGISE, WHICH HAS THROWN UP NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO ATTRACT QUALITY PEOPLE.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director at Prosper²
THE PROSPER² COMMUNITY PLATFORM
Through the refocus of our strategy and by reminding ourselves why the business started in the first place, we believe we are investing in the things that matter for the future. We are thrilled that we are going to be launching our community platform in 2021. This will eventually enable and support the organic business community that we always hoped to create.
(Prosper Together, Facebook Group)
In the meantime, we launched our Prosper² Facebook group, ‘Prosper Together’. The group provides an additional means of communication between the company and our members; by supporting our members to evolve and grow during these challenging times with useful material and provisions. The group allows Prosper² members to promote their businesses, recommend the services of fellow members and support and advise each other.
If you are interested in joining the Facebook group, please click here.
PROSPER² WEBINAR SERIES SUCCESS
In May, we launched our Prosper Webinar Series, giving insights into the world of media, HR, tax, innovation to name a few by welcoming prolific business leaders and pioneers to the Prosper² community. Over the past year we have been joined by Darren Shirlaw, Linzi Boyd, Praseeda Nair, Sue Gee, Dave Verburg, Karen Pearson, Simon Whitehead and Nicola Young with valuable insights and advice.
MEDIA PRESENCE: REAL BUSINESS AND BUSINESS ADVICE
SMEs are built by brilliant people, all with a unique ability to recognise opportunities and flourish because of their passion. Because of this, we are incredibly proud that we have the chance to document that through business content platforms, Real Business and Business Advice. Both uniquely showcasing the story behind SMEs and up-to-date advice and data. In 2020, we witnessed an abundance of incredibly fascinating stories from SMEs up and down the country and listened to the advice of some of the UK’s experts within a wide range of fields.
“IF 2020 HAS TAUGHT US ANYTHING, IT IS THAT WE ARE ALWAYS PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED. FOR US, THIS YEAR IS ALL ABOUT EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW FORMS OF STORYTELLING AND USER EXPERIENCE TO TRULY SERVE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
THIS YEAR, WE’RE EXCITED TO WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH THE PROSPER² COMMUNITY TO HELP MEMBERS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR STORIES ARE WORTH TELLING. COLLECTIVELY, THE PROSPER² COMMUNITY IS A FONT OF BUSINESS EXPERTISE, AND WE WANT TO USE THIS YEAR TO EMBOLDEN MEMBERS TO SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND HELP COUNTLESS OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS (OUR READERS) IN THE PROCESS.
2020 HAS BEEN A WILD RIDE. WE LEARNED A LOT OF HARD LESSONS THIS PAST YEAR IN PROSPER² MEDIA, FROM CHANGES IN THE TEAM TO ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES. THE FANTASTIC NEWS IS THAT THE CHALLENGES WE FACED LAST YEAR SETS US APART TODAY. I’M EXCITED THAT WE’RE GOING INTO 2021 WITH A LEAN, MEAN TEAM AND CRYSTAL-CLEAR CLARITY.”
Praseeda Nair, Editorial Director at Real Business and Business Advice, Prosper² Media
THE YEAR AHEAD
2021 looks like another year of fast decisions, and maybe some altering revelations. But one thing we can guarantee is that we know we can deliver creatively and commercially amidst change and will continue to do so.
We can’t wait to see what this year has in store!