10 Key Trends That Will Drive Small Businesses
by Erik Emanuelli
June 29, 2023
10 Key Trends That Will Drive Small Businesses In 2022

The pandemic has completely upset our lives. New trends are emerging, and understanding them can help small businesses regain their balance.

Across all industries, organizations are grappling with rapid transformation.

Furthermore, substantial global changes and challenges must be addressed, from climate change to digitalization.

Our world is evolving rapidly, and companies, especially smaller ones, must adapt accordingly.

Here are ten trends that will have the most significant impact on small businesses:

1. Personal Branding

Today’s customers seek to make more meaningful connections with brands.

Building a solid personal brand is how small businesses can grow by transforming it into substantial, lasting, and impactful.

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners hiding behind corporate branding are wasting considerable growth opportunities.

Instead, they should show who they are and establish themselves as vulnerable beings.

Emotional engagement is the only loyalty you can achieve as a critical figure in a business.

And the only way to achieve this is to show the human side behind your brand.

For example, tell stories about yourself and your employees.

Credibility helps companies foster customer relationships by valuing trust, honesty, and empathy.

Consumers today want brands to address issues and offer the proper support instead of focusing on profit.

2. Agile Service Delivery and Product Development

When small businesses provide needed products and services, they are better able to create personal brands with a competitive edge.

Developing different solutions and appreciating their impact on various customers will thrive with diverse and thoughtful innovation for each market.

Increased competition in the global marketplace has forced companies to diversify their products and services to meet the ever-changing customer needs.

Diversification will enable companies to adopt product development strategies for one-off production and mass customization.

3. Networking and Collaboration Between Entrepreneurs

Networking is one of the significant trends that small businesses should not miss.

Small businesses can exponentially improve their efforts and strategies by connecting and collaborating with other companies.

Get business lead referrals, hear new market prospects, and learn from the experiences of others.

It also helps you hone your strategy and tone and team up to create relationships that inspire and fuel mutual growth.

Collaboration and networking with other small business owners help them to inspire each other and build new relationships that drive growth.

4. Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

Empathy plays a fundamental role in relationships between employers and employees. It allows a deeper understanding of work and life challenges.

Of course, you don’t need to know every detail of your employees’ lives. But caring about their physical and emotional well-being would be significant.

Active listening without judgment, observing attitudes, and conscious efforts to use appropriate verbal and non-verbal language are vital.

They help develop empathic relationships in line with the values ​​of closeness and authenticity.

It is undoubtedly one of the trends that small businesses cannot miss.

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5. Influencer Marketing and Social Media

One trend small businesses should be aware of if they aren’t already, is the power of influencer marketing.

Online platforms and social media channels like Instagram and TikTok can help small businesses tell their stories.

This will increase the awareness and excitement of customers and future customers.

These two social media platforms are also perfect for talking to and approaching a younger audience.

The choice of social platforms to use also depends on the company’s type of business.

Influencers, both large and small, especially micro-influencers, strengthen the reach of small businesses.

They provide relevance and validation of the effectiveness of the company’s products and services.

6. Digital and Cloud Technologies

SMEs need to invest in digital and cloud technologies to thrive and grow in the coming years.

Today’s digital economy has forced many companies to rely on the effective use of technology.

It is necessary to support ongoing processes and develop new sources of competitive differentiation.

Technological advancements and innovations such as machine learning, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence have grown over the past few years.

Every small business should integrate some of these technologies into their business to meet the needs of today’s customers.

Digital transformation offers small businesses a way to change.

While cloud technology provides the platform to make that change possible and safer.

7. Hybrid Workplaces

Before the pandemic, many companies relied on remote collaboration technologies like video conferencing.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these tools and working practices unprecedentedly.

Small businesses will need to strongly consider a hybrid workplace.

This will enable employees to choose their optimal way of working remotely or on-site.

Many employees have preferred to work from home. It helps them achieve a better work-life balance, reducing commuting, and proving more receptive and productive.

However, the hybrid work made the onboarding process more difficult. Employers should ensure an effective induction process for hybrid workers.

This includes ensuring they are familiar with the corporate culture and values ​​and can build relationships with other team members.

8. Mental Health in the Workplace

The trend every SMB owner should know is that workplace mental health matters.

Supply chain crunches, understaffing, remote work, and increasingly blurred lines between work and home exacerbate employee stress rapidly.

Feeling calm and stimulated in your work helps us cope with changes in roles and responsibilities.

It helps us thrive in our roles, manage stress, and increase our resilience. Ultimately, it allows us to reach our maximum potential.

Managers who don’t help remove obstacles or share resources with employees can help make them feel overwhelmed and unmotivated.

Indeed, employees’ expectations of constantly working at the highest level put excessive pressure on them.

It increases workload, working hours, stress, and emotional exhaustion.

Implementing policies that help improve mental well-being in the workplace will increase engagement, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.

Supporting workplace mental health is increasingly a necessity, even for small businesses.

9. Employees Coaching and Tutoring

Small businesses need to be creative, find innovative ways to attract the right talent and create a happy, motivated workforce in line with the company’s philosophy.

Consequently, coaching and mentoring opportunities to support employee growth and development will be valuable.

Coaching and mentoring approaches are becoming increasingly popular and effective for staff development.

Many companies use them to improve their work team’s performance and achieve particular skills and objectives, thus distinguishing themselves from their competitors.

10. Synchronous and Asynchronous video

Synchronous and asynchronous video will be the key to any marketing strategy in the near future and a trend that small businesses cannot miss.

The past two years have greatly accelerated the use of video to research, sell, serve and meet people worldwide.

Think about it. Everyone has a phone, tablet, or laptop close at hand.

Video content is perfect for promoting and telling people about the products and services offered by small and medium-sized businesses.

They help increase engagement on digital channels and allow you to reach more and more people and, consequently, buy more customers.

Indeed, the key to their popularity lies in their relative ease of interacting with potential customers across multiple platforms.

Originally published June 24, 2022. Re-published June 30, 2023 to add video and some updates.

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