If your small business survived 2021, congratulations. Over 100,000 U.S. small businesses are projected to close before the COVID-19 pandemic becomes manageable. Small non-essential companies were the first to suffer from changes to the global economy. That said, small businesses are hardy, given their ability to shift to meet changing challenges rapidly. That agility and an innovative spirit born of practical necessity will allow small businesses to stay on top of industry trends for 2022.
2021 was all about survivability. 2022 will be about growth. These trends are, by necessity, broad in scope. The global environment is rapidly changing, ensuring that the only direction that is guaranteed is change. COVID continues to impact a world economy that we are all closely connected to. Still, climate change and shifting government and economic powers also affect how businesses organize and operate.
Top Business Trends for 2022
- A Changing Human Workplace. The need for rapid response created by new economic and environmental realities will translate into flatter organizational charts as departments give way to combined skill teams dedicated to supporting specific projects. The traditional workforce will be reshaped by the expanded use of remote workers and freelancers. These changes will require a brand of leadership that is strong in communication and team-building skills and a sincere effort to develop new skills and opportunities, not just career paths, for employees.
- Changing Consumer Demands. A seemingly inexhaustible supply of information resources has changed the way consumers relate to brands. Simplified, the old adage “doing business with people you know” has now taken on more importance, and consumers are looking for authenticity in the brands they do business with. They want to relate with brands that demonstrate honesty, integrity, reliability, and humility. And consumers aren’t the only ones who want to treat a company as a human relation. Employees are demanding employers live up to mission statements more than next quarter revenue projections. Talking the talk will no longer cut it without walking the walk.
- An Age of Alliances. Almost every facet of your business, and your competitor’s business, can be outsourced. There has never been a time when commerce was so integrated or so reliant on others. This environment requires a change in relationships with vendors, customers, and even employees. Businesses that will succeed will be thinking in terms of partnerships and alliances rather than traditional vendor-buyer relationships. Among other things, this will mean a significant increase in sharing data. That, in turn, means staying current with database technology and security.
- Continued Digital Transition. Accepting and implementing a digital business model will continue to be a driving business trend for 2022. Expect big advances in AI technology that will enhance productivity but possibly create anxiety among the workforce. Expect terms like hyper automation, data fabric, autonomic systems, and decision intelligence to creep into strategic planning meetings.
Plan Your 2022 Strategy
When there is no finite template for success and the only dependable truth is change, you need to consider outsourcing your strategic planning to advisors who understand how these changes will impact your competitive position. The experts at ASCEND Business Advisory can do just that. If you are located in San Diego or Los Angeles, contact us and arrange an introductory consultation. ASCEND offers real value, actionable solutions to keep your business’s competitive edge, specializing in accounting solutions, tax solutions, and strategic business advice. Contact us now at 888-297-3321!