The launch follows new research from O2 Business which reveals that while over two thirds (68 per cent) of small business owners appreciate ‘techpertise’ can make their business more efficient and successful, the majority feel they lack the time, money and understanding to make the most of technology.
With 60 per cent stating that tech solutions are often too expensive and present a barrier to business growth, more than half (52 per cent) admitted to searching online for help.
To show how free help is at your fingertips, O2 Business sent an O2 Guru to Alex James’ farm to help him and his team work smarter from both the office and the top of a cherry picker.
Alex James said: “My parents thought I was mad to join a band and Blur thought I was mad to start a cheese business. If you have a passion – go for it. Unfortunately, that passion can mean, like me, you’re not that good with spreadsheets or mastering remote working. My one greatest piece of advice is – don’t be afraid to ask for help."
Like many SoHo (Small Office, Home Office) business owners, Alex James faces day-to-day challenges in keeping a small business running. Working with a small team who are based across the country, including his Oxfordshire farm, Alex has found keeping everyone continuously updated problematic.
The O2 Guru helped him solve the issue with one of its newly launched products, Office 365, which allows employees to create and edit documents from any device, even when they are away from the office. As a result, Alex is now able to keep an eye on the balance sheet whether he’s at his farm or on a tour bus on the other side of the world.
Alex said: “Cheese making is a really traditional business, but I know that technology should have its place in all businesses nowadays, including my own. One of the problems is that new business owners like myself are often confused about what’s available and the difference it will make, but tech shouldn’t be ignored. I would encourage any business owner to seek advice, trust in the tech and see the positive impact on their business.”
Recognising that the availability of technology is only half the issue when it comes to small businesses benefitting from the digital world, O2 Business has introduced specifically-trained over 200 O2 Gurus and advisors to provide free, impartial tech advice. They are on hand from today in O2 stores across the country, online through web chat and on the phone.
O2’s £20m investment over two years is the culmination of the global development of the digital platform - which allows customers to choose pick and mix the devices, airtime plans and apps they want, all on one bill – as well as the recruitment and training of O2 Gurus and a marketing campaign to promote the launch.
Ben Dowd, O2’s Business Director added: “At O2 we know that no two small businesses are the same, and the technology which will help each business fulfil their full potential varies widely. We want to treat each small business as an individual, which is why we offer a ‘Pick and Mix’ approach to our entire new range of products and services.
“We want to help more small businesses to grow and thrive in an increasingly digital Britain, and we believe a key step is to take the hassle out of technology. We see first-hand how the right tech can help any company work smarter, faster and more efficiently, and we are proud to be making such a significant investment in the cause.”
O2’s offering is unique in that it allows small business customers to pick and choose from a range of products and services, to create a bespoke package that is most beneficial for them. Launching within the range is: