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Why entrepreneurs in Birmingham are getting set for a productivity boost

In 2019 Birmingham’s entrepreneurs will be able to enrol on a new series of free digital workshops and sessions aimed at improving the productivity of city firms. Hosted and powered by O2 Business and small business support network Enterprise Nation, the regular monthly gatherings will deliver bite-sized steps via city digital pioneers to help firms increase their digital capabilities.

At the Christmas launch event the great and (social) good from Birmingham’s small business community rubbed shoulders as they toasted the launch of a series of digital productivity workshops hosted at O2’s flagship city store in 2019.

As the Christmas crowds flocked to New Street’s booming German market in the cold night air, the scenes inside the store were focused on what next and where next for digital automation for business – and crucially how that automation can impact on productivity.

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Ant Morse, O2’s head of digital sales, SMB, adapted the famous Charles Darwin quote as part of his presentation on why firms need to have an eye on the evolution of devices and the Internet of Things.

“Those who embrace technology will have the edge, it’s as simple as that,” Morse told the audience. “Whether we like it or not, we work with it every day.  We have five generations in the workforce using technology in some way, and we have to make it work.

“Digital success is about more than just creating a brand and building a website.  Small firms don’t need to feel the fear, they should just do it.  There are so many solutions that can help save time, keep you informed, help with planning, remind you to do things and increasingly you can link them all together.  Tools like these are evolving all the time.”

For Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, building a website may be just the start, but it is still an area that small businesses find daunting.  “Having a strong online presence is vital for firms looking for growth and sustainability.  And yet often it’s this element that is still perceived to be a big problem that’s difficult to approach and overcome.

“It doesn’t have to be like that.  Yes, there might be an initial learning curve for some, but that effort will be vastly outweighed by the time and brain power saved in the long run.”

A full programme, starting in January 2019, and stretching to December will be covering everything from building a website to SEO, social media and digital marketing. They will be delivered by the city’s digital legends including Dr Mike Bandar, founder of Instagram scheduling tool Hopper HQ in June, and fintech founder and Silicon Canal diversity chair Joel Blake in February.

They workshops are free to attend, simply register online. Sign up to our next event on Thursday 24 January: How bespoke digital products can transform your business, right now.


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