Opinion

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Top business trends of 2014

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1. Big data

Big data will continue to play a major part in doing business throughout this year, but more emphasis will be placed on practical results and innovation. It will help businesses know quickly and more accurately the output in the next quarter and estimates will be subject to less revisions.

2. Increased efficiency

The uprising trend is to work faster and better with less. Companies will try to enable employees to deliver outstanding results with fewer resources, but psychologists are still trying to determine at what point this could start having a negative impact on the performance of the organisation.

3. Going global

More and more SMEs are expanding into overseas markets and with millions of pounds in Government funding, the aim is to see an increase in UK exports to £1tn by 2020. Currently, confidence amongst exporters is at a record high, and businesses are reorientating away from the European and North American markets towards stronger growth regions such as Indonesia, Nigeria and Mexico.

4. Social media and content

Businesses will continue to rely on social media networking sites for both marketing and making employment-related decisions. Facebook and LinkedIn will be increasingly used to screen potential employees, while a strong online presence will be essential in the make or break of a business.

High quality content will also be an important feature businesses will strive for, not only as an SEO technique, but as a reliable brand marketing.

5. Consumer-driven demand

Consumers are becoming more and more pretentious so personalisation will be key in making a business successful and providing demanding customers with their desired service or product. Consumers will have the ability to customise products and more businesses will start to implement 3D printing technology to speed up the customisation process.

6. Mobile

According to the Custora High-Growth E-Commerce Index, almost half of 2013’s Black Friday online shopping was done on a mobile device. The trend will continue this year, with increasing numbers of consumers using phones and tablets. Businesses will need to cater for their customer’s need and make their online platforms accessible from these portable devices.

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