12 Key Trends That Will Drive Small Business In 2022 — HelloLeads Blog
In this pandemic, small businesses have fallen into a period of distress and confusion. As the world is slowly regaining normalcy, many small businesses are just beginning to recover as new trends have started to emerge. Understanding the emerging trends can help small businesses find their place again. Here are twelve key trends that small business owners need to keep an eye on.
1. Emotional Intelligence and Empathy :
Emotional intelligence and transparency play a key role and are critical factors for small businesses in 2022. Due to a deeper understanding of work and life challenges, empathy plays a powerful role in the employer-employee relationship. Even though you don’t have to know or share the whole situation that the employee is facing, you need to acknowledge their moods and behaviour, and addressing them accordingly is of utmost importance. Small businesses need to make an effort to show concern and ask about the well-being of their employees. Remember the saying: “If we ask, ‘How are you doing?’ we really want to know.” — Patrick Williams.
2. Sustainable and resilient operations :
The world has begun to follow the eco-trend actively. Every business tends to eliminate or reduce the environmental expenses of business operations. Decarbonizing the supply chain is a reasonable place to start, but businesses with forethought are looking beyond the supply chain to enhance sustainability across all business operations. And, of course, sustainability influences resilience to adapt and adjust for their long-term survival. For instance, many businesses today are preferring renewable energy resources such as solar power to reduce their expenses on utilities. Businesses that ignore sustainability cannot perform well in the current age of conscious consumption.
3. Balancing human workers and AI :
Today, much artificial intelligence (AI) systems are capable of taking up tasks that were previously meant for humans. This leaves many questions about employees and their job security i.e., how do we find the right balance between AI and human intelligence? Which role should you assign to the AI? and how to determine which roles are suitable for humans? Automation will certainly affect many industries, so entrepreneurs must prepare their organizations and employees for the evolving nature of the work.
4. Employee coaching and mentoring :
To maintain a happy workforce, small businesses need to find innovative ways and remain creative to attract the right talents and retain them. Eventually, coaching and mentoring opportunities to support the growth of employees will be of great value. Mentoring and coaching perspectives have grown increasingly effective and popular for the growth of employees. Many organizations are utilizing it to improve the performance and talent of their employees around specific goals and skills.
5. Authenticity :
Today’s customers are seeking to create more meaningful connections with brands. This need for connection has paved the way for authenticity as an independent business trend. Authenticity aids in promoting client relationships as customers prioritize compassion, humility, trust, honesty, and empathy. Customers today want to care about issues and address them rather than focusing on earning a profit.
6. Shift to hybrid work models :
Having a hybrid workplace where employees can choose their preferred work schedule as well as whether to work remotely or in an office will be a trend for the future. So, organization leaders are faced with the biggest employee-related questions like how and when to plan for an employee’s return to the office. It is predicted that by 2022, 10% of organizations will shift to a permanent work model, 30% will go back to a permanent in-office model, and the remaining 60% will shift to a hybrid model.
Shifting to a hybrid model will require companies to assign job roles, conduct meetings, and manage day-to-day operations systematically. So, executives need to develop a new model of working and let go of the traditional, chaotic processes.
According to the future of jobs report, implementing cloud technology will make businesses more agile, efficient, scalable, and collaborative, while reducing costs and preparing the company for remote and hybrid work models.
7. Agile service delivery and product / service development :
Another trend to watch in 2022 is the ability to remain agile / proactive in service delivery and product development for clients so that small businesses can easily create personal brands with a competitive advantage. By developing a diversity of solutions and understanding the impact of these solutions on various customers, small businesses will be able to deliver creativity, diverse, thoughtful, strategic innovation in any market.
8. Networking and collaboration among business owners :
Networking is the biggest trend of 2022, and you should not miss it. Small business owners can exponentially improve their efforts and strategies by collaborating with other business owners. Networking helps in gaining business lead referrals, learning more about new market perspectives, and learning from other people’s experiences to sharpen and improve your game. Networking and collaboration will help small business owners inspire and fuel each other, building new relationships to drive growth.
9. The shifting talent pool and changing employee experience :
The way we live and work is evolving since the way the world thought about jobs, meetings, workspaces, remote working, and recruitment changed when the pandemic struck in 2020. Many of them concluded that these changes are only temporary. Also, the year 2021 proved these changes wrong with changes in the work model. So, what is up for 2022? Small businesses need to concentrate on creating more considerable employee engagement through strong employee experience to create a good work environment for everyone. Experts predict that full-time work will soon come to an end as organizations hire people on a contract basis. And this trend is expected to come into force in 2022.
10. Social media influence in marketing :
The digital space has come up with many benefits, and one which small businesses have already taken advantage of is social media influencer marketing. Although creating an online presence is essential for your small business, a mere account creation would not suffice. It is necessary to create an attractive, solid, and pleasing brand that would help with digital marketing strategy. Using social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok can help small businesses make an impact by increasing their customer base by providing relevance and endorsements.
11. Purposeful business :
Connected to authenticity, this trend is all about making sure your business exists to serve a valid purpose and not just to offer profits to shareholders. Purpose defines why the business exists. Essentially, a strong purpose has the promise of transformation or making great efforts towards something better — be it a better world, a better way to do something, or whatever is important to your business.
12. Increased use of cloud and digital technologies :
Small businesses need to invest in cloud and digital technologies to prosper and grow over the next few years. Today’s digital economy has forced many organizations to depend on the effective use of technology to back up their ongoing processes and develop new sources of competitive differentiation. Technological innovations like IoT, machine learning, AI, and so on have grown over the years. You can meet the needs of today’s consumers by integrating a few of these into your business. Digital technologies offer your organization a way to change, while cloud technology provides the platform to make this change possible and safer.
The 2020 pandemic has created a new outlook for SMEs. While 2021 has made many organizations adapt to a new working model, which has been no easy feat, By following these highlighted trends in 2022, you can prepare your organization to see remarkable success and growth in 2022.
Originally published at https://www.helloleads.io on February 24, 2022.