In the wake of the pandemic, small businesses went into a period of confusion and distress. Many are beginning to recover as new trends emerge under a new form of normalcy a year on. Vaccine distribution has buoyed entrepreneurs with a new sense of optimism as small businesses seek to find their feet once again.
However, there are many trends on the horizon that business owners need to keep an eye on. Here are 16 key trends that will drive small businesses in 2022.
What is one trend for 2022? Automation. Of course, it’s not a new phenomenon. The work-from-home era, with its digital workspaces, gave a boost to AI implementation and took that trend to another level. Now, algorithms rule the world of marketing. Machine learning streamlines HR. Technology improves data analysis. Manufacturing processes, design, human resources – AI impacts literally every aspect of the business.
Why would small businesses be especially interested in those solutions? Well, almost every start-up owner will agree that small businesses lack both people and time. While we dream big, we don’t have the resources to reach our goals. Therefore, automation provides a solution. It speeds up time-consuming processes, allowing employees to focus on more relevant tasks. Aside from that, there is no turning back – AI will influence all types of businesses. Small businesses just must stay updated if they want to compete with giants. Once they slow down, they are out of the race.
#2. Flexible/ Remote Working
Remote work during the pandemic has proven that companies can maintain productivity levels while compromising on workspace and work hours. The definition of the workspace itself is evolving as employers attempt to build strong work relations using empathetic solutions to worker problems, such as allowing flexible work hours.
#3. Increased Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion
Today’s consumers want to spend their money with companies that support their values, and it’s easier than ever before to research the policies, processes, and other information about businesses. On the other end of the spectrum, job seekers are increasingly selective about their preferred work environment, and want to be employed by companies that respect all team members equally and give everyone the same opportunities. It’s not enough in 2022 to give lip service to diversity in your marketing materials. That needs to be supported by action and evidence that you’re making meaningful progress toward reducing bias and becoming more inclusive.