Whether it's overhauling customer interactions to cutting back on energy consumption, have you made your business New Year's resolutions for 2019?
It’s not just people spending their Christmas thinking about how to better themselves in 2019 – business leaders too are setting New Year’s resolutions.
While some of us might be weighing whether or not to sign up to the local gym, however, bosses are considering how to turn more profit, make their employees happier and expand into new countries.
And with next year predicted by many to be a period of dramatic change for multiple industries, it’s critical they choose the right things to work on.
Here we hear from seven decision-makers about what they’ll be doing to move things forward in the New Year.
Business New Year’s resolutions
Expand the company while remaining close-knit
Ralph Manheim, CEO of blockchain-enabled co-working space provider Primalbase
According to our plan, we will open two new offices in New York and Singapore.
Naturally, our team is going to grow so we can service our community in these regions.
However, we’re very keen we retain the same close-knit and collaborative culture.
As our community will be all over the world, we’ll have to work more flexibly to ensure no one is isolated.
We’ll also be regularly bringing everyone together to meet and bond.
In short, our resolution for 2019 is to ensure our new global community still feels local.
Focus on skills
Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of financial API (application programming interface) provider TrueLayer
We work within the brand new field of open banking. As a result, getting top people with the right skills and attitude is a very tall order.
This is why in 2019 one of our resolutions is to focus on growing these skills in the industry.
We have plans in the works that could include offering summer internships for students, work experience for under-privileged and minority communities, and volunteer days for our colleagues to teach code at schools.
It’ll be great to give back to our local community and also lay the groundwork for the next generation of tech experts who could soon join TrueLayer.
Create a smoother user experience
Ciaran Dynes, senior vice-president of products at cloud integration company Talend
The main thing we want to do as we head into 2019 is become much more frictionless in terms of our interactions with customers and prospective employees.
This is a really key area at the moment and it’s about making the user experience really simple – whether that’s a customer interacting with our website, or the way our marketing team attracts new talent.
If you look at the way people use Netflix in their downtime – that’s a really seamless service, it doesn’t require any stress on the part of the user.
One of the things we like about it is the recommendations part. It helps bring everything user needs into one place and they can see everything at once – that’s really powerful.
Essentially, we think that people’s interaction with software in the enterprise world should be just as simple and frictionless as it is in the consumer world.
Use our own technology better
Iain Shearman, managing director of Hull-based telecoms company KCOM NNS (National Network Services)
I want us to deploy more of the tech we provide for our B2B customers in our own business.
For example, we do some really clever things like speech recognition – where my voice is my password – in contact centres for organisations such as HMRC.
Next year, I want to make life easier for our own customers – and, indeed, our own staff – by providing the same services for them.
Reduce our energy consumption
Antoine Martel, CEO of fundraising software company iRaiser Group
We have two big resolutions in 2019. First, from a business perspective, we want to reach one billion euros in donations to charities and non-profits via our solution.
Second, internally, we want to roll out a programme to help reduce energy consumption and improve the environment.
One idea we’re keen to trial is performance optimisation to reduce the energy used to load the charitable donation we pages we support.
A modest change will not be noticeable to viewers but, in the context of millions of pages, it could save a serious amount of energy.
In the long term, we hope to have all our hosting running on 100% renewable energy.
Grow our team
Bartek Kunowski, VP of product and technology at Glovo
Our staff are the core of Glovo’s success and it’s our team which helps to drive our values, as well as innovation, in the on-demand industry.
Thanks to successful growth to date and recent funding, we’re able to prioritise more investment in tech talent and engineers to ensure we’re at the top of our game in the space.
We already have plans to hire 300 new engineers next year, having recently appointed a vice-president of engineering.
Crack the UK market
Margarita Khartanovich, head of insight at tech events and training company Binary District
For us, 2018 was all about entering the UK market and launching events and workshops focused on educating people on emerging technology.
In 2019, we want to expand that campaign, hire a bigger team and partner with like-minded companies.
One of our aims is to start a charitable programme with a partner to show young women their career options and provide them with the support they need to pursue a career in emerging technology.