Anyone expecting a slow, sleepy start to 2020 will have had a rude awakening.
Five weeks into the new year and already business owners have been dealing with significant rates reforms, formally exiting the European Union, welcoming a new Assembly at Stormont and all while trying to return self-assessment forms before last Friday's deadline.
It's certainly been a busy way to kickstart the new decade and from speaking to business owners across Northern Ireland, it's clear that it's not just our politicians who are marking this new decade by adopting a new approach.
We've always said that being adaptable is the key to business success. Malleable, innovative, evolutionary, call it what you will - it is the one trait we see time and time again in successful business owners and the one thing which helps them stay relevant in the eyes of their consumer.
At team Boost, Ulster Bank's dedicated business advisory programme, we are taking this advice on board. In a case of practising what you preach, we have revised our programme of events and have kickstarted 2020 with a new approach to how we connect with small and mid-sized entrepreneurs.
We have broadened the range of subjects we're going to tackle and plan to bring our networking events to even more areas of Northern Ireland. We believe no matter where your business is based and whatever sector you work on, you should have access to the same level of opportunities and we are excited to play our part in helping even more business owners unlock their true growth potential.
Michael Quinn and John McDade are two solid examples of how shaking things up every once in a while can have a positive impact on an overall business. They have both undertaken huge refit projects which has recharged and strengthened their respective organisations.
This is just one end of the scale, however, and part of our job as business growth enablers is to guide business owners through transitions and adjustments of all shapes and sizes. We've already had two successful events under our belts
We've delved into all things marketing with entrepreneurs in Newcastle and Greater Belfast, and we're confident that attendees will have left both sessions with a greater understanding of what they can do to better market their business. On paper, these may seem like small changes or ideas, but when implemented effectively, they can have a meaningful impact and help to align business objectives with the ever-changing needs of today's consumer. We know business owners can feel overwhelmed and, at times, standing still in the familiar comfort zone might seem like an attractive prospect. Our goal for this year is to reassure these entrepreneurs that they can reach the next level and that with the right connections and partnerships, growth can be achieved.
Our next events in two weeks' time explore the topic of accessing finance, so if this is something you are grappling with at the minute, why not come along, strike up a conversation and make boosting your business your new approach for 2020.
To register for upcoming Boost events, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cara and Lisa are business growth enablers at Ulster Bank