2022 was one of the weirdest years I can remember. Particularly impressive given what 2021 and 2020 brought us….
And much more...
And whether the last 12 months brought success or otherwise, it’s that time of year to reflect, learn the lessons and focus on the next 12.
Looking ahead for The Shore Group, here’s what’s on my mind. This is what we’re focusing on to help make 2023 our best year yet.
(And before you say 8 is too many, I know, probably agree but was struggling to know which ones to remove as all felt important).
So here goes…
1. DELIVER IN YOUR SEAT
Whatever 2023 actually brings, all the forecasts right now are for a tough 12 months. So, our starting point has to be to deliver the day job. It sounds obvious, but deliver a good service/product, be organised with admin and be the most reliable. Make it easy to work with you. Let’s make ourselves irreplaceable. Do this and you’ll hit your targets – whether you’re in sales, finance or compliance.
For Shore leaders and managers, support and coach your teams and help them to deliver. Give your time, allow people to make mistakes and learn quickly from them.
And do it in the right way. It’s no good hitting you’re target if you’ve trampled over your colleagues to get there. Be a team player, support, coach, motivate others - or even more simply, be a good human. I guarantee it’ll be recognised.
2. GET VALUE FOR OUR VALUES
Social value becomes more important every year and 2023 is going to be no different. Investment in CSR isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s now essential to drive the business forward and one of the main points of difference with clients. You might feel like it’s not your ‘part’ of the business but it’s everyone’s responsibility. Get interested and get involved.
A great social value or CSR strategy is becoming ever more important to progress in pitches across all our sectors and I believe it’ll become the same as our ISO accreditations - a non-negotiable for clients.
Crucially, let’s make sure you’re quantifying what you’re doing. How much money are you raising, how much carbon are you reducing, how many people are you creating jobs for etc.. Quantify, share the good news and get value for our values.
3. DIVERSIFY BUT KNOW THE TRUE PROFIT
Spreading risk and opportunity is always a good plan - and covid showed what a huge difference it can make. For us having a strong retail support offering offset the drop in construction in the early stages of the pandemic when building sites closed.
We’ve carried on diversifying since the pandemic and 2023 is going to a breakthrough year when income from our original recruitment ‘core’ will be less than 50% of the total - and we expect the trend to carry on over the coming years as the newer business areas scale up.
But one thing we’ve learnt over time is that as well as exploring new areas, we’ll be spending time to understand each service’s true cost base including central costs - otherwise, we might dent the profit of core services whilst thinking our new service is insanely profitable.
4. FOCUS ON STRATEGIC CLIENTS
The combination of higher Interest rates and inflation means low-margin, slow-paying clients really hold zero appeal (or value). It’s time for some direct conversations about rates and payment terms.
5. THE PERFECT MOMENT FOR ETHICAL RECRUITMENT
We’re on the crest of an amazing opportunity where the skills and labour shortage meets the s106 requirements of clients. Let’s join up the dots and get minority groups and disadvantaged communities into training and work. Everyone wins especially local communities after projects finish.
Our Ethical Recruitment team is contributing more than ever and this is the year where we’re linking leadership aspiration with boots-on-the-ground activity.
If you’re recruiting, look beyond your usual labour pools and be open to all candidates whatever their background. Our WBC Cares UK partnership is core to our approach and there are loads of other charities and community groups to partner with who need support more than ever. More diversity = better business.
6. WIN-WIN AND COLLABORATE
We don’t have to always break new ground alone. We’re looking for partnerships and JVs that are mutually beneficial and leverage everyone’s strengths. A little work upfront to find the right partner can save £££ in investment setting up from scratch and will harness the potential of both businesses.
One of the most exciting new areas in 2023 for The Shore Group is a tie-up with an established partner. We both bring something to the table the other partner doesn’t have, and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential of the new business.
Watch this space for more news…
7. INVEST IN APPRENTICES
I know budgets are tight and recruiting might feel like too bold a step right now but we’ll be sticking with apprenticeships. They’re vital for so many youngsters and the most amazing way to find passionate, ambitious, talented candidates ready to work and learn. We set a target for a minimum of 10% of our employees to be current or former apprentices. Whatever comes our way this year, it’ll be a target we stick to.
It’s our responsibility to stick with these kids through training apprenticeships and work experience.
8. BE CONSISTENT
Finally, in a world of uncertainty, our teams and colleagues need confidence and certainty more than ever. Let’s set our priorities, stay true to them and communicate regularly on progress. Consistency isn’t the most exciting topic but it will be the difference between some of the winners and losers this year.
Hopefully, this list is helpful!
Now let’s go make 2023 the best year ever….
Lewis Yorke-Johnson, Co-Founder