As is customary, the New Year is an ideal time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming months. It’s a time to observe the mistakes we made, acknowledge the successes we found and make resolutions for the future.

We look back on 2021 with mixed feelings. It was a tough year with tragedies that shook our faith in humanity, but it was also a year of hope-filled moments that reminded us that people do care about each other. We saw celebrities doing good, social media campaigns raising awareness of important issues and ordinary people touching lives one at a time with kindnesses big and small. We felt a sense of community and it was great to be able to capture this and celebrate it in the magazine.

And this is what makes us optimistic about 2022 – there are people who want to make this world a better place, to help and encourage each other, and to offer support when needed.

Small business plans

This year many small businesses (including ourselves) will be looking to expand their reach, increase their networking and deepen their community engagement. This year we’re getting ready to launch Life In…Bromley and the excitement is picking up pace!

All the editorial features are pretty much done – and now it’s just a case of filling the advertising slots. With just half of the magazine reserved for advertisers, we’re already 95% sold. It helps to have the example of Life In…Orpington magazine as people can see your vision and what you’re trying to achieve.

The hardest thing in starting a community magazine is having nothing to show in the first place. We’re thankful that our loyal advertisers took a leap of faith in the concept of Life In…Orpington. And it’s telling that most of those early advertisers continue to advertise with us until this day. Community is a word that’s very important to them – and we’re privileged that they want to be part of that wider message by showcasing what they offer in the magazine.

So, what else can small businesses do to continue to grow this year? Ideas around starting a blog or developing a series of newsletters to keep their customers informed are all tried and tested – and seem to work in building a sense of community. So too can getting out and about, meeting other like-minded businesses to see what synergies they share and how they can collaborate. Just a few ideas we thought we’d share.

Lastly, we’d like to share one of our highlight moments from the last month, where we were invited to be a guest on Zeenat Noorani’s Mindset Matters Radio Show recently, along with the lovely Michelle Simpson from The Chartwell Cancer Trust. Please do have a listen – where you can discover more about the wonderful work that The Chartwell Cancer Trust does in the Bromley borough, as well as our personal story on being diagnosed with the illness that now affects one in two of us. It’s a positive story, with a positive outcome – and message. We’d love to know what you think.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, supporters and advertisers a very happy New Year – here’s to health and happiness in 2022. Here’s our own inspirational quote to kick off the new year…

“If a serious illness has taught us anything, it’s to be sincerely grateful for what we have. Forget the fast cars and fancy mansions; health and happiness are what we should all be striving for. Because ultimately, they are all what really matters.”