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What are the challenges UK Businesses are facing in 2015?

With the first quarter of 2015 complete, many UK businesses are now in full swing and actioning the plans for the rest of the year.

In January, we took the opportunity to survey our clients and many other UK businesses about what they predicted their greatest challenges would be for the year. The survey has highlighted some interesting results. Take a read below to find out what our results are showing and how you can use this insight to help support your company in 2015.

The Rise of IT, Mobile & Cyber Attacks

In 2010, the “internet economy” was worth £121bn – a figure that is growing by 10% each year. Overall, the internet contributed to around 10% of the UK economy, which was a bigger share than any of the other major G20 countries (Source: BBC), confirming the need for businesses to have a presence online.

2015 has been predicted to be the year mobile internet use overtakes desktop use (Source: Mashable), so businesses need to prepare for this by making their websites mobile-friendly. Our survey found 20% of businesses were ready for the mobile revolution, and 40% were planning to act, leaving 40% of businesses behind the times.

As more and more businesses rely on online technologies to flourish however, cyber-attacks become more prevalent. Symantec found that in 2013, web-based attacks had increased by 23% and the number of security breaches had grown by 62%. Symantec also found that 1 in 8 legitimate websites are critically vulnerable to these attacks, which lead to lost revenue, lost productivity and perhaps most damaging, a loss in reputation. It could be these reasons why our survey found that IT security represents the biggest reason for businesses not adopting cloud-based IT solutions.

Protect your valuable business data from malicious attacks and keep your business running smoothly, with security protection to meet business requirements.

Financial & HR Growth Challenges

Our survey found that the key restraints for business growth is budget control and human resources. These are two important factors that drive businesses growth and therefore require impeccable organisation and focus.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that white collar workers in these HR & administrative roles are actually the ones who are quietly driving the economy forwards, with services alone making up a massive 80% on UK GDP. It is for this reason that it is so important to invest in your team, and to implement processes when growing departments to ensure everyone is performing at their best.

In the UK alone, 20 million of these white collar workers spend hours each day working on the unglamorous essentials needed to run the business, from spreadsheets, word processing, presentations and project management (Source: HR Magazine). These processes needn’t be time-consuming however; there are a number of efficient productivity tools to ensure that all processes are streamlined and administrative time is kept to a minimum.

Work more efficiently with a HR and Payroll solution which allows you to keep all your staff records in one place.

Managing and Strengthening Customer Relationships

With the advent of new media, businesses now have more control than ever before in choosing the way they communicate with their customers (Source: The Marketer).

Businesses can personalise their services to each individual customer’s needs, giving them the best possible customer experience. One main challenge to businesses is recording this data in a logical place – a place where all departments have visibility and are seamless in managing interactions with future clients or customers – commonly known as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System, out of which our survey found Salesforce and Sage to be the most popular.

CRM Systems organise, synchronise and automate all of the customer-facing areas in your business, from sales & marketing and accounts to customer service and technical support (Source: Econsultancy).

As Econsultancy aptly puts it, a CRM system “gives you the time to develop other areas of your business, whilst giving you the reassurance that you’re not letting your existing clients down or responding to new enquiries in an efficient manner.”

Our survey found 66% of businesses using a CRM system agree they help streamline their businesses’ processes, with integration and ease of use, representing the key benefits of using a CRM system. Like mobile ready sites, 40% of respondents are not using a CRM system, meaning they are not taking the opportunity to capitalise on tailoring their customers’ experiences.

SugarCRM and Access aCloud CRM can help improve your customer relationships and provide insight into customer behaviour, by keeping all customer information in one easily navigated system.

Sales & Marketing: The Key to Business Success

As Sales & Marketing departments continue to be an important stream for revenue, there is a huge pressure on these departments to perform. Our survey found almost 60% of businesses think that perfecting their sales and marketing presents the greatest business challenge in 2015.

There are a whole host of challenges sales and marketing departments face internally, for example the gaps in knowledge and skills in your internal team, or measurement of marketing efforts (Source: CMI). These challenges can again be helped by integrating software, such as a CRM system, which can identify successes and areas of improvement and - most importantly – gives businesses the opportunity to analyse this data and continue to adapt in their marketplace.

Enhanced is committed to providing customers with IT solutions that exceed customers’ expectations in addition to award-winning customer service, exceeding business goals with tailored IT solutions to meet the growing need for IT business solutions. Enhanced take the time to get to know your business and your ambitions, ensuring a software solution that’s tailored to meet your needs.

For more information on how Enhanced can help ease the challenges facing your organisation, contact a member of the team on 01202 308000. 

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