5 Small Business Trends Emerging in 2022 

Successfully running a small business is hard work. It takes years of experience to master and requires the ability to think on your feet and adapt to changes at a moment’s notice. Since the start of the pandemic, and even long before then, being aware of trends in the business community has been crucial for keeping the lights on.

The good news is—tracking emerging changes in your space can be easy. Here are 5 key trends you should be aware of right here.

Leveraging e-commerce opportunities

Today, people want to shop safely from home, expecting a state-of-the-art online experience. Likewise, companies want to keep their employees safe and healthy. And they would prefer to reduce overhead costs when possible, which can be done when leveraging a remote or hybrid work environment.

The benefits of doing business online are clear for both sides—and they have resulted in an e-commerce boom. Based on a study by Datanyze, businesses acted in droves to capitalize on e-commerce opportunities during the pandemic, with new domain subscribers increasing by 48% on GoDaddy.com.

It’s crucial for small businesses to acknowledge this commitment to digital and to upgrade their experiences if need be.

With supply chain issues continuing to impact small businesses, now is the time to invest in tools, inventory and technology

 Investing in supply chain solutions

According to data from Shopify, 40% of business owners expect supply chain issues to continue impacting their companies in 2022. The resulting shipping delays and shortages can impact customer orders and damage the reputation of businesses. And these issues, which were a reality for much of 2021, are anticipated to last throughout this year and possibly longer.

So, what are small businesses doing to counter these problems? Rather than looking for areas to cut costs and save, companies are increasing spending to develop long-term solutions:

  • 45% of businesses will spend on efforts to boost their manufacturing capacity
  • 44% of businesses will invest in ways to enhance the speed of their supply chain 
  • 44% of businesses will invest in efforts to improve how they work with partners

If you lack the funds to implement these changes, an SBA 7(a) loan is a strong option to consider. With SBA 7(a) financing, you can acquire inventory, supplies, and raw materials—all without having to tie up your cash.

Fund-Ex Solutions Group can help you get the SBA 7(a) loan you need. Our team of industry experts has streamlined the process, making it fast, easy, and stress-free to get funded.

Receiving cashless payments

Cash is not king. The trend toward cashless payments continues. Today, consumers prefer to pay with debit and credit cards, mobile devices, and payment apps.

To show just how much times have changed, recent data by McKinsey & Company indicates that 82% of Americans used digital payments in 2021—a number that has been increasing steadily in the last five years. Digital payments can include:

  • Payments made using a web browser
  • Payments made within an app
  • Payments made using a mobile phone or QR code in-store
  • Payments made between peers using third-party services

On a similar note, “buy now, pay later” is becoming increasingly popular in the US. The BNPL market is expected to expand by almost 67% in 2022. If you sell more expensive items or services, like home renovations or kitchen and bath remodels, consider adding a point-of-sale financing solution to your checkout experience. Our friends at NaluPay offer tailored financing options to fit any business.

Adjusting your business to accept cashless payment methods and potentially offering a BNPL or POS financing option could be a helpful step toward facilitating more transactions in the current market.

Business owners should prioritize video marketing in 2022; it's easier than ever with smartphones.

Prioritizing video marketing

Did you know that of the 330 million Americans, approximately 250 million consume video content? Further, today’s consumers are watching almost double the amount of online video content compared to back in 2018.

So, it’s really no surprise that 86% of businesses prioritize video marketing in their strategies. However, it’s not just about sheer exposure. Statistics also indicate this medium’s effectiveness as a marketing resource.

  • 87% of businesses documented a positive return on investment from video marketing efforts
  • 86% of businesses found video marketing to be an effective lead generation tool

From ads on TV and streaming services to content on social media channels like TikTok, there are plenty of effective and even affordable ways that your small business can increase exposure.

Focusing on customer experience

As a small business owner, you know that clients are the lifeblood of your business. Just like with every year, your goal in 2022 must be twofold: to attract new customers and to maintain your existing base. How are your competitors aiming to accomplish this feat? Sixty-eight percent are immersing themselves in their current client experience and seeing what they can improve.

From a state-of-the-art user experience to the convenience of multiple payment methods to streamlined processes and more, all of these efforts boil down to one key metric—customer satisfaction. Clients whose expectations are met or exceeded are more likely to return and post positive reviews. Given that consumers rely heavily on third-party validation (social media, reviews, and more) before making purchases, each positive result could lead to additional conversions. Meanwhile, the opposite effect is also true. Unsatisfied customers may leave negative reviews, which could deter future customers from using your services.

Learning what you can about the strengths and weaknesses of your current client experience—and actively making improvements to suit the needs of your customers—should be a staple of your strategy now and in the foreseeable future.

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