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2022 will be a unique and promising time for businesses as we regain a sense of normalcy in a post-pandemic society. See what new business ownership trends are emerging and how your small business can leverage them in the upcoming year.
A public health crisis and government-mandated lockdowns forced many small businesses to shut down operations during the COVID-19 pandemic — while some were short term, others closed forever. But as we look to recover and rebuild our communities in a post-pandemic world, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurial spirit and small businesses are, and always will be, some of the biggest motivators behind long-term economic success.
If you’re looking to establish or redefine your business in 2022, here are 5 steps you should consider implementing in the year to come.
Small business trends to watch
While many small businesses attempt to find a “new normal” in the age of rapid transformation, it’s hard to say if the next year will bring a return to business as usual. As the world as we know it continues to change, organizations must learn to adjust and adapt accordingly. Here are five factors that business leaders should keep in mind as they prepare for the next new normal.
- Influencer marketing on social media
More and more businesses are finding that collaborating with social media influencers significantly drive sales and promote brand exposure. On the local level, small businesses can benefit from leveraging micro-influencers who can reach niche markets that cater to direct consumers. Micro-influencers are also known to have a higher engagement rate because their audience is more likely to relate and trust someone who shares a similar interest. This can also be a great way to increase your company audience by getting the right eyes, likes and shares on the posts you share.
To make the most out of your digital exposure, micro-segmentation is key for brands seeking to expand into new target markets. Reaching niche markets has proven to increase profitability and growth for companies implementing micro-influencers into their strategic marketing plans. For companies looking to increase revenue and exposure, it is important to develop data-driven strategies that capture the attention of the consumer base. Social media can be used as a powerful tool when looking to scale up, and the right micro-influencer can be just what your business needs to up level.
- Network with other business owners
One thing is for certain, successful businesses do not grow in isolation. Networking is a way to expand your industry knowledge, as well as your immediate circle of customers and colleagues. Meeting up with fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders in your area is especially valuable to you and your business. Not only can you gain region-specific information, but you can also learn from their experience or provide guidance.
Business networking can help you gain referrals and generate new business leads, whether it’s a future project or a new consumer, your small investment in time could greatly benefit you in the long run. By teaming up and forming real relationships with other community business owners, you have the ability to re-sharpen your business skills, help your business gain more community exposure, and allow you to mastermind with like-minded individuals.
- Utilize video
With video-focused apps like TikTok and the rise of Instagram Reels taking social media by storm, it’s more important now more than ever to create a presence for your business on social media. Especially in the new-age of technology, digital marketing is here to stay – the question is, how can you show up more digitally? Having a social media presence allows you to prospect, sell, serve, and meet people across the globe. While creating your own videos is a great way to promote your business and showcase your products, you can also tap into your customer’s content by creating a hashtag for your business and encouraging consumers to use it whenever they post about your business.
Before you dive in, it’s important to fully understand the platform. TikTok’s algorithm uses AI to provide users with recommendations on which videos they should watch based on their past viewings. The algorithm makes it easy for users to discover new content, which also makes it easy to create viral sensations. The thing to remember is that digital video consumers and users like fun and creative content. They’re not interested in stuffy and scripted infomercials of the past. They’re looking to engage with a memorable story featuring the product with some catchy music and eye-catching effects. Although you may be thinking you have your bases covered with the other social media platforms you post on regularly such as Facebook or Twitter, it’s important to go where the consumers are.
- Work-life balance priority
As many companies attempt to transition their employees back to in-person 9-5 workweeks, it’s important to consider that the pandemic has made many people reevaluate what’s important—how or where they want to spend their lives and what they want to prioritize. By realizing the power of creating people-centric organizations that value the happiness of employees as much as the bottom line, companies will find that employees who feel valued and cared for are more willing to put in the extra mile. Focusing on improving the balance for employees can improve their overall health and general well-being. It can also help to improve their morale, motivation, and general job satisfaction, leading to improved performance in the workplace. Ultimately, leaders who implement people-centric philosophies within their companies understand that it is the people who make their company so successful.
- Maximize Google for your business
Typically, when we “Google,” it’s when we’re searching for something online. When people go to search your industry, make sure your company ranks high on the results page by optimizing Google My Business (GMB). By claiming your Google My Business listing and customizing it with photos, categories, and a detailed description of your products and services, GMB can be your company’s most visible asset for local search. As Google rolls out even more algorithm updates, it’s important for small businesses to keep up with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. By implementing Google Ads, small businesses can add segments, customize filters, and analyze digital website and advertisement performance to help get a sense of their overall Google ranking and digital conversion rates.
Investing to grow your business
While there are plenty of free resources and online education available to help your business grow in any of these areas, consider hiring an agency or independent contractor for specific needs outside of your skill set or to maximize your time. Here are the top small business lending options to consider if you’re looking to increase your immediate working capital:
- Term loan: A term loan is a flexible lending option that provides your company with access to capital in a lump sum, which is repaid either daily, weekly, or monthly over the term of the loan. This option provides you with the utmost flexibility when it comes to financing. Term loans can provide the financing your business needs to make the needed adjustments that will benefit the business. Whether it’s outfitting your team with the proper work-from-home tech, or hosting a networking meet and greet, obtaining a term loan will provide your business with the funds it needs, fast.
- Line of credit: A line of credit is a flexible funding option that can be accessed by small businesses as a kind of revolving capital that works similarly to a business credit card. Your business will be approved for a set amount of credit that your business to draw on when needed, only paying fees on the balance that it owes. If you’re looking to outsource social media experts or hire a micro-influencer to target your niche audiences, taking out a line of credit can allow your business to leverage the talent it needs to make the business an online success.
- Business credit card: A business credit card can provide transactional ease when purchasing, invoicing, or providing funds for your business. A business credit operates in a similar way as a traditional credit card – the difference tends to be in the benefits of purchases that businesses tend to make. Business credit cards can easily be used for outsourcing talent and upgrading the business’s digital exposure.
Looking to 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses to shift and evolve to maintain continuity, drive productivity, and keep daily operations afloat. As a new era unfolds, it’s time to make sure you’re setting your business up for success in 2022 by embracing the changes that are here to stay.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with a business advisor about small business loans and other financing options, please call one of our small business advisors at Rapid Finance today: 877-252-0827.