These are turbulent times in the global economy, after a year that has seen some incredulous political and social changes. Starting with the UK’s decision to leave the EU and ending with Donald’s Trump stunning election win, the world’s infrastructure and financial markets have been shaken to their very core. This prevailing level of volatility shows no sign of abating, although there are signs that businesses and fiscal markets are beginning to consolidate.
Small business confidence in the UK has increased during the last month, however, rising by 11% as firms have begin to embrace the potential benefits of leaving the EU. In America, business sentiment levels have also risen during the fourth financial quarter, on the back of impressive data-sets and a national unemployment rate of just 4.9%. This has encouraged firms to plan progressively for their futures, as they look to create growth plans that can capitalise on the renewed sense of optimism.
More specifically, next year is likely to see businesses strive to leverage technology and reduce their operational costs in a bid to increase profits. Here are three ways in which this can be achieved in the New Year.
Invest in Smart, Automated Energy Metres
The energy market has changed considerably in recent years, as suppliers have reacted to a growing demand for greater efficiency and cleaner sources. Technology brands have also been quick to move into this space, with smart systems being developed to reduce and manage energy usage in real-time.
One of the best examples of this is the rising prevalence of smart, automated energy metres in the commercial sector. Driven by more stringent consumption regulations, these metres monitor the usage of business electricity and gas in real-time, before feeding accurate data back to both suppliers and customers on a half-hourly basis. This not only leads to lower and more accurate bills, but it also enables firms to observe energy usage trends and drive long-term savings within the business.
Make no mistake; this can save thousands of pounds per annum and help you to implement a greener business infrastructure.
Offer BYOD Capabilities to Your Employees
With the launch of Windows 10 came the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which encourages employees to use their own hardware in the workplace. By participating in this initiative and offering its benefits to employees across your businesses secure, wireless network, you can realise multiple benefits and drive higher levels of productivity in the process.
Most importantly, this allows you to transfer expensive operating costs onto the user, which in turn will generate savings in terms of procurement, maintenance and upgrading. The precise nature of these savings will depend on the size and scope of your venture, but larger corporations can save huge amounts through the BYOD initiative. You may even be able to recoup some of your earlier investment by selling old and outdated hardware, creating additional funding within the business.
Make Automation a Key Aspect of Your Business
Automation is often misunderstood in the workplace, as employees see it as a considerable threat that poses a risk to their longevity and value as assets. This is not the case, however, as the core purpose of automation is to increase business efficiency and realise potential cost advantages, while empowering human resources and introducing greater levels of clarity to their job roles.
By understanding this and successfully leveraging automation in 2017, you can create a leaner, more efficient business model that reduces operational costs (while also helping you to get the most out of the talent that exists within the company). Start by focusing on manufacturing process (if appropriate, of course), before looking to automate the mundane and functional elements of customer service, social media management and email marketing.