6 key business trends you’ll see in 2022
7 min read
Those who succeed often know what’s coming next, and those who don’t…well, that’s why trend forecasting exists.
Today we’re taking a look at some trends we’ve identified that will put your business ahead of your competitors in 2022. Keep on reading if you’re interested in starting off on the right foot this coming year.
eCommerce and social commerce
Everything may be moving online, but don’t break your shop’s lease yet! There will be plenty of foot traffic next year as Covid-19 measures gradually lift. However, many business owners are finding that selling through eCommerce channels works well in tandem with their main revenue stream. While this avenue of sales is not new, many are adopting eCommerce into their business strategy and allowing more budget for online marketing. The upcoming boom in eCommerce will contribute to the rise of online business as a whole.
If you haven’t added social commerce into your business vocabulary, now is a great time to do so. Social commerce, or selling products and services directly from social media, will make a huge impact in the years to come, with the global social commerce market projected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2026. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, have all rolled out their own eCommerce integrations that allow creators and business owners to display and sell products directly from the app. Pro-tip: their algorithms also skew in favor of those who use their digital marketing services.
The rise of tech
Even if you’re not a tech company, you’ll learn to think like one this coming year. We first identified this trend last year in the Sleek Index Report, when we saw an exponential 343% increase in IT and software solution company expenses. These past two years, purchases have mainly consisted of video conferencing subscriptions, technology upgrades, and new digital equipment to ensure business continuity.
Next year this focus will turn to the clients, as more businesses implement tools like online chat boxes and smarter CRM systems to quickly attend to customers’ needs. Overall, companies are beginning to strive for all the same capabilities as the big corporations, showing that they can keep up with their larger competitors.
It’s easier than ever to integrate cloud technology into your business operations. We’ll see many types of technology and AI used to take over menial tasks, thus increasing efficiency and service quality. More companies will turn to automated solutions like Sleek’s business management platform that does the work of multiple people.
This means now’s the time to work on your tech literacy, or at least hire someone who will know what steps to take to guide your company through technological advancements you can easily incorporate into your business.
Speaking of tech, a big trend we’re seeing is efficiency across the board. One surefire way to boost efficiency is to outsource work. Oftentimes it is better on the budget–and on your timelines–to hire contractors, gig workers, and part-timers to complete work on a project basis. Rather than hiring a team of accountants and bookkeepers, for example, you can outsource the work to a single digital accounting platform that is even more efficient than any team could be. This method guarantees a team’s worth of work with no CPF and insurance plan you have to contribute to.
On top of that, outsourcing provides other benefits such as increased focus on core competencies, access to business-boosting resources (like Sleek Business Accounts if you’re a Sleek client), and more time to effectively market your products.
Recruitment is tough, and after the “great resignation” of employees leaving the workforce this year, it’s high time to invest in the employees you already have. Double down on development in 2022. Put time and effort into your relationships with your employees so that they won’t have to think twice about staying. The more you put in, the more output you’ll receive.
This can be in the form of company-wide training sessions, mentorship, rotational development programs, or mandatory one-on-ones between management and staff. When workers are looking to grow and expand professionally next year, your company should hone in on helping them grow and flourish, lest they seek that investment elsewhere.
This year we heard a phrase that we never thought we’d use: webinar fatigue. After two years of forced virtual meetings, the business world experienced a collective sigh of relief as soon as events came back offline. But now that we’ve had a taste of work-from-home, many are actually choosing to join community events from their home offices. Hybrid events will take over as the norm with some people attending events in-person, while others opt to join in remotely.
This will extend to working arrangements, with most companies adopting a flexible schedule of both remote and in-person working. Next year more and more companies will accept that proximity bias–the idea that employees with close physical proximity to their team are better workers–is a thing of the past. Companies with greater flexibility will see boosted morale and higher employee retention.
If you’re comfortable being behind the scenes of your business, it’s time to step into the spotlight. Next year, consumers will be even more interested in companies that have accessible CEOs and team members who are plugged into the community. The focus will turn to businesses that have social value or have a greater purpose than simply raking in revenue.
So how do you make authentic connections with your clients when face-to-face meetings are still uncertain? Record videos of you talking about your product or service and the value it brings, and upload them onto your company’s social media pages. Try posting more often from your personal LinkedIn account. Tag a fellow business owner or colleague you admire and start a conversation.
It’s never been easier to reach out to others in the same sphere and make yourself known. You don’t have to be a “LinkedInfluencer” to genuinely connect with your target audience. Open up about your story, and people will be invested in you and your product.
With this information, you’re now equipped to go forth into 2022 with confidence. These past two years have been riddled with uncertainty, but collectively we’ve made great strides in technology, automation, and overall efficiency. We’ll see these culminate next year, as more and more companies hop on the above trends. If you don’t want to be left behind, we recommend you do, too.
If you’d like to focus on these things but don’t have the time, reach out to Sleek, and we’ll take care of your back office admin so you can focus on the finer details of your business.