24Sep2014
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Top 10 Trends for SMEs following #MADE2014

The top trends that came up in the Tweet Chat hosted by JournoLink with James Caan, Start Up Loans, and other business leaders included:

1. Funding Options: “As we head into 2015 I’ve never been more positive about the funding options for start-ups. There’s now a fantastic variety of options available if you have a solid proposal, and next year I think we will see even more budding entrepreneurs take advantage of these. The key now is to ensure these start-ups can get the support structure they need to grow.” - James Caan.

2. Brand Profiling and Online PR: “SMEs will have to find a way to give their brands and services a distinctive profile in a crowded market. One that differentiates them and draws attention from the big brands. Despite the fact they have a smaller budget for Advertising, PR etc, they can target and engage with their markets in distinctive ways. ONLINE PR is the response to this trend and one that all SMEs may have to consider” - James Caan

3. Business Confidence: This is expected to grow over the next 12 months with unemployment numbers down and more businesses looking to expand. - Sage UK Ltd.

4. Mobility and Flexibility: Every small and medium-sized business will have to become familiar with new regulations aiming to promote more freedom for workers. Cloud solutions and mobile devices enable staff to work from home or elsewhere, meaning business can adapt without the loss of performance. - Sage UK Ltd.

5. Digital Services: These are set to increase in usage, enabling more startups to reduce start up costs by the use of virtual and digital technologies. This will greatly reduce barriers to entry in to many industries. - JournoLink

6. Banking Services: Small Businesses need a more competitive banking sector to help them access the finance they need to survive and grow - FSB

7. Mentoring: This is going to be more and more important to Startups. One of their greatest hurdles is that of experience. There will be a requirement for SMEs and startups to access experienced Business mentors who can guide them through the ups and downs of their early lives - Rekha Mehr (former Govt Entrepreneur in Residence, Bisgov)

8. Diversity: Older people, young people and staff of all kinds will be required to run the startups in the future. Diversity becomes an issue because this is what drives multiple viewpoints and creativity. Each group have a part to play in a successful enterprise. - Sue Wright, XX Corporation

9. Well being: There will be increased emphasis on staff and entrepreneur well being as the backbone of enterprise is its Human Resource. Companies will have to pay attention to Staff and entrepreneur Welfare - BizCrowd

10Insurance: This is crucial especially for Start Ups. For everything from Key Persons to protection against the vagaries of unusual weather patterns. Companies will have to protect themselves against disasters. - JournoLink