Striving for success in 2023? Turn to your partners to find the right balance
2022 showed us just how much can change in a year. We saw UK businesses emerge from the grips of the pandemic with a sense of cautious optimism. It even seemed like normal service might finally resume.
The battle for talent got more competitive as employees made their new working expectations clear. ESG commitments moved to the fore as consumers challenged businesses to act more responsibly and share their resources more widely with society. Public sector organisations continued to invest in technology, buoyed by the acceleration the sector had seen over the past three years.
But it seems the economy in 2023 has painted its own picture for the year ahead. Businesses face rising costs, ever-changing customer and employee demands, supply chain issues and pressure to fulfil ESG commitments. And of course, these challenges must be balanced with the realities of ‘keeping the lights on.’ In the face of this balancing act the British Chambers of Commerce say business confidence has taken a blow, with 36% expecting a decline in profits.
Yet with ambiguity and uncertainty comes opportunity. Namely, the opportunity for those businesses with a positive mindset to ride the wave of disruption, sharpen their competitive edge and emerge stronger than ever.
Forge ahead or play it safe?
Two options lie ahead for UK decision makers.
The first is to take up a defensive position – to reduce investment in technology and training, to dial back ESG commitments – to try and weather the current economic headwinds. This might feel sensible, but research from McKinsey has shown that taking up defensive positions during times of crisis typically leads to middling company performance.
The second is to maintain the positive momentum the UK has seized over the past three years and to continue to invest in technology, training, and improving the employee and customer experience. The very same McKinsey report found businesses willing to pursue opportunities in times of crisis, while managing the downsides, are more likely to emerge successful.
As UK businesses brace for falling profits in 2023, resilient decision makers will be looking for ways to maximise the value of their existing assets.
And this is where partners come in.
Make your expectations clear to partners
It’s as true in business as it is in our personal lives – good relationships are founded on partnership. When challenges arise, it’s often partners who help us to find solutions and maintain our momentum.
2023 has arrived, and with it a fair share of challenges and opportunities. Now is the time for decision makers to look to their supplier partners for support. These partners should be able to offer expert consultancy, providing valuable insights and strategies to help businesses manage costs and meet the needs of customers and employees.
If they’re not, then they’re only fulfilling the role of supplier.
Decision makers should challenge partners to help them achieve more with their existing technology, make smarter investment choices and ask them how they can support their ESG commitments. Perhaps it’s also time to ask certain questions about these relationships.
For example, are these partnerships delivering the necessary level of support? Can they support the business beyond the basics? Are they truly on the side of the business?
We recently supported Northumbrian Water Group’s (NWG) landmark digital transformation. NWG’s ambition is to become the most digital water company in the world. The NWG team worked with us to rebuild its digital infrastructure, developing new ways of working and communicating through a unified vision of fixed, mobile, and cloud solutions to support IoT.
The project was about more than just technology. It was about a shared understanding of the culture, people, and outcomes that NWG wanted to create. Today, NWG describe Virgin Media O2 Business as a ‘new breed of partner’.
Achieve more with the resources you already have
Positive momentum is there for the taking. But we’ll only achieve it by choosing to act and seizing the opportunities that lie before us. That’s why, at Virgin Media O2 Business, we’re continuing to improve our networks. Over the next five years, we’re investing £10 billion in our fixed and mobile networks to bring businesses next-generation connectivity.
Our customers’ needs are the priority in our partnerships. We offer free digital consultations to understand the ins and outs of your business and tailor our recommendations to suit.
And, whether you’re a large enterprise or an SME, our partnership creates extra value as soon as we begin.
For large enterprise and public sector organisations, we go beyond the standard Service Level Agreement with our Success Agreement. We put your organisation’s goals at the heart of our working relationship and share the risk of digital transformation, so you have a partner by your side every step of the journey.
And for smaller businesses of 11-249 employees, we’ve created our Get More fund, which gives new Virgin Media O2 Business customers 10% of their monthly bill back to spend on the latest technology to enable their teams to achieve more with their tech*.
2023 will be a year for balancing your ambitions with the economic headwinds we’re all experiencing. So, choose yourself the right partner and lean in.
Balance starts with a conversation. Find out more about Virgin Media O2 Business on our website, or contact us today.
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