What’s to come in 2022 for small businesses? Let’s find out.
In early 2020, the onslaught of Covid-19 forced many small business owners to address an abrupt spate of challenges. Many experienced a sudden drop in sales, although others were able to sustain and even increase transactions, especially among retailers. A number of businesses, unfortunately, had to close permanently because of the significant restrictions in people’s movement.
As the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic comes into sharper focus this year, business leaders and policy makers continue to develop interventions to help small business in the short term, ensure that they can participate in the recovery, and put more of them on a more resilient footing in the years to come.
Even though the outbreak is far from over, small businesses remain positive that 2022 will be a better year. This article provides several critical small business trends that can smoothen how you run your small business in the coming year.
1. The Adoption of Automation
Traditionally, small businesses looking to scale would have to invest in people and processes. Automation can help small businesses scale without hiring more people or investing valuable resources in revamping processes. Small business owners are increasingly taking advantage of automation to streamline time-consuming processes—such as manual accounting (think Freshbook and Wave), which reduces the need for human resources while eliminating human error.
According to the most recent Small and Medium Business Trends Report shows that small businesses that are embracing automation are thriving compared to those who are against it. 2022 will see accelerated adoption of new automation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA).
2. Remote Work Will Continue to Be Popular
While some companies anticipate bringing their employees back into the office, others are looking for hybrid models or sticking with indefinite remote work arrangements. Currently, 65% of Malaysians claim to be working from home, compared with 52% of the global average according to a survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos.
Many businesses have figured out how to operate their companies efficiently under this new model, and with the pandemic showing no signs to subside, remote work isn’t going anywhere in 2022.
3. Rethinking and Reinventing Supply Chain
The disruptions to global supply chains due to COVID-19 have raised severe questions on the resilience of global supply chains. Many businesses in all sectors – retail, consumer products, discrete manufacturing, and life sciences are negatively impacted by the crisis, and a vast majority have struggled with significant challenges across all aspects of their operations, including shortage of critical parts/materials, delayed shipments and difficulties in adjusting production capacity in response to fluctuating demand, and so on.
As a result, businesses are exploring multiple supply arrangements for example; they might consider having an import option and a local option, so they’re not bound to a single supply chain. Re-organizing and reinventing the supply chain will be a top business trend for 2022.
4. Digital Marketing Will Continue to Grow in Popularity
The pandemic has pushed many businesses in Malaysia to undergo rapid digital transformation, and the bar will be even higher in 2022. Many small business owners have been on a crash course in digital marketing right ever since.
To successfully achieve business growth in a digital environment, small business owners must keep an eye on notable digital marketing trends in 2022, especially in AI-powered digital marketing. AI is fast changing how marketers view and adopt various digital marketing strategies, and if your small business is looking forward to ranking at the top of search engines like Google and Bing, you will have to incorporate AI in conjunction with other SEO best practices in 2022.
5. Digital Payments Will Become a Standard for Businesses
The pandemic has changed the ways customers purchase goods but it has also changed the way they pay for goods. Although payments were already shifting to digital before the pandemic began, its adoption has increased across all demographics during the pandemic.
Of the many options small businesses have to improve their business performance, adopting a digital payment strategy ranks among the top value for them and their customers. This trend will continue in 2022 and beyond.
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