As we prepare to say goodbye to 2014, we look at three of the major changes set to impact businesses within the next year.
Businesses could be leaving the capital
Almost half1 of London’s most successful entrepreneurs have considered moving their businesses out of the capital as rising house prices, rents and transport costs continue to discourage talent.
Young and ambitious workers became increasingly difficult to hire in 2014 when house prices reached record highs, and 70% of those aged between 25 and 39 now admit that their rent or mortgage makes it difficult to accept work in London.
Over the next four years, the city’s property prices are predicted to rise by a further 25.8%2, and it’s smaller business that can’t afford to pay higher wages or cover their employees’ costly commutes that will face the toughest hiring challenges.
For this reason, expect to see many start-ups and London-based companies head up north or for the coast in 2015. University towns are likely to be prime hotspots for those hoping to fill skills shortages with eager talent.
The Night Tube will make London a 24-hour city
From September 2015, Londoners will be able to catch the Night Tube at weekends, when Transport for London (TfL) introduce their 24-hour train service on the Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines.
Finally, London could achieve the 24-hour city status that it has historically struggled to achieve, lagging behind cities with heaving nightlives such as Berlin and Sydney.
Clubs, bars and restaurants are likely to benefit most, as there will be no need for customers to cut their nights short in order to catch the last tube.
If you regularly organise (or attend) business and marketing events, prepare for longer venue bookings, prolonged schedules, and probably more booze too. As an employer for such events, continue to factor in the cost of a taxi home for the staff working your event, as the Night Tube is likely to be quite a drunken ride, which won’t be much fun for sober commuters.
Anticipate another coalition government following the 2015 general election
All the hard-won lessons that us marketers have learned over the years will be played out for the first time ever on the UK’s political battlefield when the general election goes digital this year.
Party leaders will take to Youtube to debate, whilst lengthy email lists have been acquired and social media profiles built to capture voters through digital communications.
Smaller modern parties are likely to nail campaigns better than their larger contenders, who’ll find it harder to dust off their out-dated reputations, but every party will be subjected to even greater scrutiny and any wrong-turns will be harder to recover from once they’ve been published.
A Labour or Conservative majority is usually the expected eventuality following a general election, but with more reach this year, it’s likely we’ll see a different coalition government gain power – so businesses should anticipate a tax shake up.
1 The Telegraph, 2014. London’s entrepreneurs threaten to leave Capital to avoid ‘brain drain’. [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/11155056/Londons-entrepreneurs-threaten-to-leave-Capital-to-avoid-brain-drain.html.
2 International Business Times, 2014. UK House Price Rises to Slow in 2015 But Will Rocket in 2019. [Online] Available at: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-house-price-rises-slow-2015-will-rocket-by-2019-1469922.
All information sources accessed 22nd December 2015.