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What will be big in business in 2015?

We’ve already taken a look back at the key business trends in 2014, but what does the year ahead hold? We asked some business experts to look into their crystal balls and tell us what they see being big in the world of business in 2015.

As general manager of SMB for O2 Business, Paul knows everything there is to know about how small businesses can make technology work for them. Emmanuel Bankole is one of our top O2 Gurus, who you can find doling out advice from our Tottenham Court Road store in London. Meanwhile, Anastasia Emmanuel is marketing manager at Indiegogo, a business designed to help people crowd-fund their business ideas.

Watch their hot tips for 2015 below.

Paul Lawton takes a deeper look at some of the trends you should get your business ready for in 2015:

Beyond flexible working

In 2014, the tech to allow us to work flexibly finally hit the mainstream. But in 2015, I see things going even further. With new legislation allowing any worker with over 26 weeks of service the right to request flexible working, any stigma associated with working from home will disappear in 2015. Ever improving technology will also help us all get more done when we’re on the move, with 4G coverage expanding throughout the year too. Could this be the end of the office as we know it?

Young entrepreneurs

Research that we conducted in 2014 showed a distinct rise in the over 55s starting businesses, but I think 2015 will be the year that young people take over. With the graduate job market more competitive than ever, the digital skills that today’s teenage and twenty-somethings have grown up with will really pay off. From ten year-olds setting up loom band businesses to Nick D’Aloiso selling his mobile news app to Yahoo for $30 million, I predict we’ll see many more of these young, savvy businesspeople emerging in 2015.

Integrated apps will help us get more done

There are already thousands of great apps helping us zip through our to-do lists, but 2015 will be the year they all start working together. Imagine editing a document in Evernote then sharing it with a colleague in another country over Google Drive, all without having to switch apps, close the document and re-open it elsewhere or resorting to a computer.

Small businesses will act more like big enterprises

Mobile technology and cloud-based services have already changed the business world, opening up a world of enterprise tech to businesses as small as the one-man band. Pay as you go services are all well and good, but I predict small businesses acting more and more like big businesses throughout 2015. I think this will happen in a variety of ways – but perhaps most notably by putting big data to work using tools like Google Keyword Planner and the YouGov Profiler tool.

Another area in which SMBs can act like big businesses is connectivity – for example, research in 2014 found that by providing robust Wi-Fi in sports stadia, the owners and businesses there are able to use the data collected to improve their customers’ experience. On a smaller scale, providing public Wi-Fi in your business can allow you to target customers with location-based offers and understand their journeys around your business to aid merchandising.

You’ll need a wearable tech strategy

We saw smartwatches creep onto wrists throughout 2014 but, with the Apple Watch scheduled for launch in spring, 2015 will be the year that wearable tech really takes off. You should start thinking about how you can capitalise on this new product category, from optimising your website to work on a tiny screen, to considering a wearable app if it fits your business. You should also consider if wearable tech can help your workforce be more productive on the go.

What do you anticipate being big in business in 2015? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting @O2BusinessUK.

 

 



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