Brexit, GDPR, innovation: 2018 predictions SMEs will focus on

Member News published by Enterprise Europe Network, under Insurance, Management, Manufacturing, Market Research / Analysis, Mobile Entertainment & Digital Media

Brexit, innovation increase and GDPR and are all included in our predictions of things that'll matter for small businesses in 2018.

Brexit will give way for new opportunities 

Following on from the Q&A around European funding, and Jo Johnson's encouraging announcements, Brexit negotiations are progressing well.Now is the time for businesses to take control of their own destiny. Ensuring you have a strong, yet flexible business model from which to build robust business development strategies. We are also holding a webinar with the Institute of Export and Open to Export on 23rd January. More info here.

Innovation increases

There was £2.3bn research and development investment quoted in the Autumn Budget document. This claim - part of the Industrial Strategy - is “the largest boost to R&D support for 40 years.” The opportunity for UK firms to grow through innovation is expected to be greater than ever, with schemes like Innovate 2 Succeed in place to support business in getting match fit. 

GDPR will mean marketing as we know it will be gone

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will change the way that businesses market to their audience.  For any company trading internationally and acquiring customer data from EU countries, they will need to understand their obligations e.g. when they carry out international data transfers or if they receive a data breach complaint from an EU client/supplier. EEN can help you understand GDPR legislation relating to cross border operations. Check out our blog for more information. 

Increasing cyber threats 

The amount of cyber-attacks on British SMEs amounted to over 875,000 in 2017, and that figure is expected to rise. It’ll be essential to find ways to make their business resilient to attacks. Keep an eye on our events page for any future cyber-related workshops. Our partnering database and sector specific b2b matchmaking events can help you source and sell cyber security solutions.

The demand for a better work-life balance increases

2018 we will see a demand for a better work-life balance and SMEs will reap the benefits once they endorse a more flexible way of working. Benefits will include staff retention, reduced rates of absenteeism and a happier, more productive workforce. Weather predictions for 2018 are more severe with gale-force winds and torrential rain, it’s likely that we will see more travel disruptions. Ensuring your business is equipped to support remote working will benefit your business in the long term.

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