The small business landscape is evolving at an astonishing pace. Its development depends on economic, political, legal, and technological factors.
One such example is COVID-19 that has impacted almost every segment of our lives. Since its outbreak, many firms have shifted their business models.
In 2022, when life will (hopefully) regain a sense of normality, new trends will dominate the SMB landscape.
What should entrepreneurs prepare for in 2022? Let’s find out!
Increasing Investments in Digital Marketing
Many local small businesses still rely on traditional marketing, such as billboards, flyers, brochures, and promotional items. While offline marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness, it does not necessarily result in sales.
Digital marketing is an opportunity for small businesses to boost brand reputation and industry authority. With its help, you can tailor campaigns to your customer base and increase sales. For example, local firms can invest in local digital marketing efforts. These includes:
- local keyword optimization
- claiming a Google My Business listing
- registering on industry-specific business listings
- social media marketing
- industry-specific content creation that resonates with local audiences
Most importantly, digital marketing channels personalize shopping journeys. You can segment email newsletter lists, create dynamic website content, or communicate with consumers more naturally. With tech trends, such as artificial intelligence or machine learning, you can learn more about your customers. That way, you will deliver relevant user experiences at every stage of the buying process.
Learning the Basics of Online Retail
Since the Coronavirus breakout, many small businesses have had to close their doors. To stay competitive, they have started investing in online retail. Many are now reaping the benefits of eCommerce and plan to focus on it in the post-pandemic era.
Investing in an Ecommerce Website is a Necessity
In the hyper-connected era, eCommerce is not optional for small businesses. Developing a functional website and selling products online is an opportunity to increase brand reach.
In 2022, that means that building a user-friendly website is paramount. From simple website architecture to live search, building a user-friendly website is paramount. One such example is Oilfield Marketplace. Whether it is H2S treatment products or drilling equipment, they provide thorough information about each item on their site.
Optimizing Online Commerce for Social Networks
Investing in a spotless eCommerce website is not enough for your small business to thrive. According to research studies, social networks are the second most dominant online channel after search engines. They connect brands with potential customers.
Statistics show that global social media sales reached $732 billion in 2021. Selling products via social networks lets you shorten the sales cycle and boost conversions. Today, Instagram and TikTok are leaders when it comes to social commerce.
Increase Data Safety
From eCommerce to a remote workforce, digital transformation brings numerous benefits to small businesses. However, it also increases cybersecurity threats. The research study by Deloitte found that 47% of users fall for a phishing scam while working remotely.
For small businesses investing in hybrid workplaces or adopting the BYOD policy, investing in strict cybersecurity protocols is a top priority.
For starters, that includes strict employee cybersecurity training. The goal is to teach your employees about the most common data security risks. By knowing how to recognize, block, and report them, employees will contribute to your company’s safety.
Some additional steps include:
- Listing the locations eligible for remote work. Employees should understand the risks of using public Wi-Fi or connecting to an unauthorized network.
- Provide thorough reporting instructions in case of a cyberattack. Everyone in the team should know how to behave after falling victim to a cybercrime.
- Provide employees with the tools they need to complete their jobs securely, such as encrypted password-sharing software, anti-malware, antivirus, etc.
The Adoption of Hybrid Workspaces
Since the Coronavirus breakout, employees’ habits have changed. They are starting to understand the perks of remote work and are less likely to get back to the traditional nine-to-five office models. According to research by PwC, 83% of workers emphasize they are more productive when working from home.
However, not everyone can invest in a fully remote office. That depends on your business type, industry, budget, etc. Still, focus on creating a hybrid workplace where employees can choose their optimal work schedule and location.
Providing employees with greater flexibility increases their morale and productivity. In the era where Gen Z is entering the workforce, more flexible work models help small business owners bridge the multi-generational gap.
Over to You
Running a small business has never been simple. However, since the pandemic outbreak, entrepreneurship has become even more challenging. Precisely because of that, you need to keep track of the latest industry trends. Above all, you should adapt fast to maintain a competitive advantage.
How do you stay on top of the latest SMB trends? We are looking forward to hearing from you!