Entrepreneurship is not an easy feat, especially due to the face-pace at which the world is transforming. Aside from making sure everything runs smoothly internally, many entrepreneurs also need contingency plans for uncertainties such as political and economic shifts. The pandemic is the most recent event that turned the business world into disarray, threatening the survival of many entrepreneur-led enterprises.
From February to April 2020, the United States lost about 3.3 million active business owners. Additionally, the impact on their mental health cannot be understated. This shows that it is necessary to be proactive when protecting your business, which includes assessing the possible trends. Even though nothing is certain, it is better not to leave anything to chance. On that note, here are some trends to take note of for 2022 to give your business a good head start.
A need for longer and more meaningful conversations
As the world continues to obsess over productivity, it is rather unfortunate that there are reports of the human attention span getting lower. Studies show that the attention span has reduced to 8 seconds as of July 2021 from 12 seconds in 2000.
Despite this, there is evidence to indicate that people do not mind having longer conversations as long as they are meaningful. This probably explains why Twitter introduced ‘Spaces,’ Clubhouse was successful (even though for a short while), and podcast listeners are on the increase. Especially since the pandemic hit, more people are listening and engaging in conversations that make them more knowledgeable, help them improve, or just be a part of a community.
For an entrepreneur, this means you can build a loyal audience for your business while proving your industry knowledge. It is also a great way to retain your existing customers while reeling in new ones.
Overcrowded online space
The benefits of being online, especially as an entrepreneur are numerous and now big brands with a big budget are interested in online representation. This has pros and cons, so keep this in mind. On the one hand, it means more visibility. On the other hand, it means getting lost in the ‘noise.’
For example, unless you go the extra mile to ensure you can be found at the top of Google, you are not likely to be found at all. One way to stay relevant is to create quality content to attract and keep your audience. Whether audio, visual, or written, make sure what you are putting out is good enough to keep your target market coming back.
You will also have to be consistent so that you do not lose them. Depending on the platform, conduct research on what your target audience would want to see and develop content based on that. Another possible downside to this is that the cost of operating online might increase if you want to stand out. However, you wouldn’t have to break the bank with a few tips and tricks.
Human resources will experience changes
The human resources world has definitely experienced a few shifts due to the pandemic, and it is shaping the way businesses source, interview, and hire employees. This has affected laws surrounding employment, including working conditions.
Policymakers are likely to examine the labor laws regarding aspects like minimum wage. Aside from the financial aspect of employment, a bigger focus will likely be placed on employee wellness and safety, both physical and mental. Additionally, there will likely be a continued rise in the gig economy and the number of remote workers, and you may need to consider this when delegating tasks.
Keeping employees in-house and outsourcing some roles come with pros and cons that you will have to consider for your business. As an entrepreneur, growth may require you to either bring more people on board or lay some off, and you would have to take such factors into consideration. You may also need to review your policy on employment to ensure they are up to standard and can meet your business needs.
Focus on sustainability
Currently, more and more consumers are mindful of how their retail habits affect the environment. This awareness is driving many businesses, both large and small, to change their mode of operations.
The aim of sustainability is to prolong the business’ life. That means finding more environmentally friendly suppliers, reducing the carbon footprint of the business, finding more sustainable packaging and distribution methods, etc.
Being sustainable also requires some level of resilience, and that means ensuring your business can adapt and survive long term. You will have to go back to the drawing board, which is your business plan, and tweak a few things to achieve that.
Increased demand for more entertaining content
It is not surprising that platforms like Tiktok have flourished ever since the pandemic, as many people were looking for ways to kill the boredom of being indoors. Many content creators also emerged and became famous, using the platform to create a source of income.
So far, many brands have been able to use social media trends to garner more eyes to their business, and there are a lot of them. From the fun dance routines to the comedy-infused educational content, you are not likely to run out of ideas.
It is totally up to you to choose which ones fit your brand. It may be challenging in the beginning, but there is also a plethora of information on how to navigate those waters and achieve success.
Being relatable will be more popular
There is a reason why the self-help and self-improvement industry is thriving. Everyone wants to be associated with positivity since it makes them more attractive. This covers everything from motivational speaking to life coaching. Indeed it is a good thing to want to improve yourself and grow.
However, there is also the issue of toxic positivity, where the realities of being human, such as struggling with mental health once in a while, are gaslighted and portrayed as weaknesses. As the world was going through the pandemic, it became apparent that struggling was a part of life, and hiding it didn’t do any good. Therefore, many more people are looking for people and brands they can relate with moving forward.
They are no longer interested in just having the inspirational ‘after’ picture but also want to feel like a part of the process and all the ‘ugly’ details. So while being inspirational is good, it is even better to acknowledge, appreciate and share with your audience or consumers the challenges that you come across as a way to make them a part of your story.
Personalization will become easier
As artificial intelligence and data analytics become more popular, it will become more straightforward to collect data for business growth. The combination of these will allow businesses to develop better marketing campaigns and a custom user experience to improve customer retention and conversion rates.
Fortunately, it is becoming more affordable to attain these tools. Therefore, you can predict your customers’ behavior to grow your business.
Being an entrepreneur in this era comes with a lot of responsibility. There seems to be a lot more to do to be successful, and while it may be challenging, it is not impossible to attain success. There are many more helpful predictions that entrepreneurs should take note of if they want their businesses to be in a good place. The ones mentioned here are a good place to start, so feel free to leverage them for outstanding results.