Getting ahead in the New Year comes down to recognizing basic competitive advantages. One of those advantages is foresight. If you have the foresight to recognize shifts in business trends, then you’ve got the jump start on aligning your business with those changes. Your advantage lies in knowing that new paths are being forged and recognizing that now (more than ever) the business landscape is in a state of continuous change; and this for no other reason than the fact that technology and innovation are thrusting forward faster than at any other time in history.

If we look at the bottom of the proverbial business pyramid, we’ll find the base is formed by the conditions in which we’re working. Labeling this widest part of the business base as “workforce”, you can expect “remote” to be the more widely adopted way of doing business. In the last couple years, we’ve seen an increase in conversation about remote offices and remote employees.

Business leaders are finally getting it; remote work options isn’t just about career luxury – it’s smart business. If we look at how technology is evolving, between an increase in cloud technology and a point blank need for more around the clock hours, we see that a remote agent is really the only way of moving forward in business. While cloud technology enables us to move about with greater fluidity, an increase in the pace of communications driven from our technology jump means the need to always be available. You may personally not agree with working beyond the standard 9-5 hours for any number of reasons, but the fact remains that your clients expect you to be available. The conversation continues well beyond 5pm whether you’re there or not.

On that note, you can expect companies to get on board with creating a more approachable interface for mobile users. As Business News Daily writer Sara Angeles notes, “2014 will be the year that the mobile user is thoroughly researched and understood as a distinct entity from the desktop user. Organization will begin to build on the understanding that the mobile user needs information that will make them act quickly, without having to scroll or click.” Building on what Angeles writes, this means going beyond just having a mobile friendly website presence – which are often capsulated versions of the site. Having a mobile-friendly presence without understanding what your audience is searching for is rather futile. In order understand your mobile end user, companies will have to start applying analytics ahead of design in order to create a mobile presence that’s functional for your core audience.

It all still comes down to content. What type of content are you going to offer your clients? Here it doesn’t matter what type of business you have, because no business can escape from content. Whether it’s visual content, video content, or print content – content remains on the higher end of the totem pole. Even your too-boring-for-mainstream business has a content angle; you just have to find it. Mashable’s Shafqat Islam would agree. In a recent article entitled “The Content Marketing Forecast: 10 Predictions for 2014”, Shafqat notes how content roles are a gaping hole in many organizational charts. He writes, “We’ve seen many journalists already go into various companies and agencies to run editorial of late, but in the year ahead, Content Marketing Manager, Director of Content or even Chief Content Officer will start popping up more than ever before.”

The three takeaways here for 2014 can be summarized as (a) an increased awareness, appreciation and need for remote work needs as a necessity rather than a luxury; (b) an intelligent mobile-friendly design based on analytics; and (c) an inclusive attitude toward content as a key pillar in your organizational chart. We can wrap these up as the fundamental building blocks of a strategic business directive for the New Year, one that’s based on established patterns of behavior rather than on frivolous hypes and fading trends.