London,
28
September
2014
|
00:00
Europe/London

Britain’s small businesses predict 26% growth in 2015 but many aren’t ready to scale

  • Britain’s small businesses predict 26% growth in 2015 according to new research from EE
  • However, 42% say they are ill-equipped to scale their business to meet demand
  • Access to the right technology, employees and office space preventing small businesses from scaling quickly
  • EE launches Business Connect, the UK’s most flexible business shared plan to help small businesses grow with customer demand

29th September 2014, London: Despite Britain’s small businesses becoming increasingly confident about growth, more than two fifths (42%) admit they are ill-equipped to scale their business to meet demand, according to new research from EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company. 

According to the survey of 1,000 small business owners and senior decision makers, more than two thirds (69%) predict double-digit growth for their business in 2015, with an average growth projection of 26%.

However, a lack of technology, available office space and employees with the right skillset are holding back small businesses from scaling their firm to meet customer demand. More than two fifths (42%) say their business would be under threat if they are unable to resolve these issues and scale.

In response to the needs of those small businesses looking to scale, EE has launched Business Connect, the UK’s most flexible small business mobile plan

Business Connect provides small businesses with the ability to create and modify their own custom plan, and control everything from the number of users and devices, to the amount of data, voice and texts to share and for each user. In effect, each employee can have their own plan that meets their needs, without the business worrying about separate bills and accounts.

Mike Tomlinson, Director of Small Business at EE, says: “Our research shows Britain’s small businesses are expecting growth in the next year, but many worry they don’t have the resources to scale to meet that change. Whether it’s quickly adding temporary or permanent staff, or travelling overseas to drive growth – we’ve developed Business Connect to be as nimble and flexible as today’s small businesses have to be.”

Digital marketing company Digital Next is an early adopter of Business Connect, and has benefitted from the plan’s flexibility as their business grows, allowing them to add new users, SIMs and devices as and when they’re needed, and monitor and control how they’re being used.

Justin Blackhurst, CEO of Digital Next, says: “We’re able to take advantage of EE Business Connect’s flexibility to match our business needs – whether it’s our business development team needing more data, our account managers calling clients overseas, or adding connections and devices in the short term for freelancers. We don’t have time to wait when business opportunities arise, so the ability to scale quickly, and capitalise on opportunities whilst managing the account ourselves is a huge benefit.”

“Since introducing flexible working supported by EE Business Connect, we have seen a 73% increase in productivity and this is having a direct impact on our bottom line. We were already forecasting strong growth for 2015, but we now expect to see at least a 20% increase in revenue as a direct result of this new, flexible approach.”

Giving small businesses flexibility & control

Business Connect plans can adapt as projects arise or the nature of the business evolves, allowing a large number of connections per shared plan.  Businesses can even add SIMs for connected devices – such as GPS units for taxis, security systems and other connected device applications.

Other key benefits of Business Connect include:

  • The first small business plan in the UK to offer inclusive calls and texts to and from Europe and the USA,  and the ability to add other key business zones
  • First to offer choice of sharable roaming minutes and text packs for Europe, the USA and key business zones
  • First small business plan in the UK to offer the flexibility to add or remove SIMs, devices and users on a 30-day basis, for example when temporary staff are required, or if a tablet or 4G WiFi is needed for an event
  • Individual data allowances in addition to the sharer amount, and unlimited connections within the same sharer plan
  • Easy online management tool in My EE  to control usage and limits across all connections
  • Easily mix and match tariffs within one account to meet the individual user-level, or even device-level needs within any business
  • Business connect helps businesses keep a handle on costs, and starts from as little as £10 a month

Every Business Connect plan comes with five free licences for mobility management tool MobileIron. This tool enables businesses to keep business information secure while staff work on the go. Through an easy to use web interface, businesses can manage devices, mobile apps and content, keeping the business information used on mobile devices safe and protected.

New 12 month plans for small businesses

EE is also announcing new 12 month 4GEE plans for small businesses – giving customers the flexibility to get new phones every year to stay on top of the latest technology. For example, customers can get the new Samsung Galaxy S5 mini with unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB of data for £45 per month ex vat and £8.33 up-front, and they can get the latest model in 12 months’ time.

EE was recently awarded the Best Network for Business for the second year running at the 2014 Mobile Industry Awards. 4G from EE now covers 75% of the population, 263 major towns and cities, and over 2,500 villages and small towns.

Small businesses can find out more about Business Connect from EE at http://ee.co.uk/business/small/network/sharing-plans/business-connect

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact the EE Business press team on:

eebusiness@mcsaatchi.com or 020 7544 3735

Or

Paula Westcott, t: 020 3617 8463 e: paula.westcott@mcsaatchi.com

Richard Bell, t: 020 7544 3758 m: 07805 568395 e: richard.bell@mcsaatchi.com

About the research

The research was conducted by One Poll in September 2014 using an online survey of 1,000 UK small business owners and senior decision makers.

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 15,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 75% of the population, 263 major towns and cities, and over 2,500 villages and small town.  EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Best network at the 2014 Mobile News Awards, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards.

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