Small Business Trends To Watch In 2022

December 2, 2021
December 2, 2021

SME trends evolve all the time, but it’s looking like lots of big changes are in store for 2022. Are you wondering what emerging business trends you need to look out for? Take a look below as we discuss the trends that are likely to affect small businesses across the UK (and beyond!) in 2022.

A Huge Year In The E-Commerce Industry

One of the biggest SME trends that has grown in recent years is e-commerce. It’s showing no sign of slowing down. Customers love the convenience of shopping from home, saving them time and money to get what they want. Therefore, many companies don’t need to worry about having a physical location where customers can shop anymore. Of course, this helps to reduce their overhead costs too. Next year, the social media giants will lock in shoppable posts, payment processes and live-stream shopping at the heart of their offering. 2022 will be a seminal year for e-commerce.

Increase in Remote Working

The last couple of years has proved that remote working is a viable option for many businesses. Working remotely has increased productivity, retained and attracted top talent from all over the world. It has also greatly improved employees overall work-life balance. Research has shown that workers are 35-40% more productive when remote working than in an office! Not only is remote working here to stay, but the trend will become even more common for small businesses in 2022.

Utilising Google More and More

Small businesses have slowly been adopting Google’s newest applications, but this tech is only increasing in importance. From Google MyBusiness and local services to ads, SME’s need to understand and utilise Google’s applications. By doing so, they increase their visibility and gain more clients. What’s more, you can’t forget search engine optimisation (SEO). As Google has more than 86% of the search engine market, ranking higher on Google is a must in order to reach more potential customers.

Google continues to expand and update its services to mail and a host of productivity tools and enterprise products. They’ll also be hoping to make more inroads into the mobile market in 2022. Their first Pixel foldable phone is poised for launch next year.

Personalised Artificial Intelligence

Year on year, artificial intelligence continues to improve. It is the perfect tool for getting projects and tasks done in an extremely efficient manner. Although it still lags behind humans in some tasks, it is only going to become a bigger part of our lives. Next year will see our first big steps into the metaverse – a virtual world of immersive experiences where we will work and play together. AI will be the driving force behind it. Personalised AI will be hugely beneficial to a whole host of different small businesses. From chatbots to smart assistants and fraud detection systems, there is a wide range of uses for artificial intelligence. All businesses should think about adopting AI to streamline processes and drive cost-savings.

Cashless Payments

With the creation of payment apps, mobile wallets and other tech, paying for stuff has never been easier. Consumers will soon forgo cash almost entirely as they use cashless payment options for their day to day transactions. This will be one of the key small business trends of 2022 to look out for. The UK is ranked 2nd globally for e-commerce per percentage of GDP and is only behind China. More and more UK customers are willing to whip out their phone or card to quickly pay for online transactions.

If you currently trade in cash, you should also provide cashless payment options in 2022 to match the needs of your customers.

Work Values That Prioritise a Family-First Approach

The workplace is evolving to better support its employees. It’s already accepted that staff that are listened to, respected, and supported tend to be more productive and efficient. The pandemic has also seen millions of people reassessing what they value in their lives. A survey from March 2021 revealed that 38% of UK employees were planning to leave their jobs, while a Microsoft study found 40% of staff worldwide were going to voluntarily walk away from their roles. In the US, the problem has been so acute that it is has been called ‘The Great Resignation.’ It is clear that millions are now putting their families first.

Business owners need to put their employees first, or risk losing their best people. These values need to be at the heart of their operations. Small businesses should adapt to this emerging trend in 2022, if they haven’t already. It could be the difference between keeping high-quality team members within the company or losing them to other organisations.

Networking With Similar-Sized Companies

One trend that will become even more important for small businesses in 2022 is networking. Rather than trying to exist and scale alone, more and more SMEs are teaming up to advise and support each other. Vital information and knowledge is shared and there’s also the possibility of new leads being gained. Whether the business is new or has been established for a while, networking will help them grow. Collaboration will be more important to small businesses than ever before in the next few years. If you’re not a member of a local business network, hop online and find one of the many fantastic groups near you. While groups went to virtual meetings during the pandemic, face-to-face networking is now back on the agenda. There will never be a better time to get involved!

Enhancing Personal Branding

Personal branding is highlighting who the business owner truly “is.” This includes their values, work ethic, and personality. By adopting this approach customers can connect with the business on a personal level which improves trustworthiness.

Therefore, an upcoming small business trend in 2022 is for small businesses to engage with customers this way to highlight their uniqueness and allow them to explore the human side behind the business. No-one likes a corporate machine these days!

Get Ahead Of These Emerging Business Trends Today

From e-commerce to remote working, the small business landscape is changing all the time. Keeping up with these SME trends and staying ahead of the curve is one of the most important things that businesses need to do. Implement some of these emerging business trends into your small business today and you’ll reap the rewards in 2022.

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The last two years has seen enormous changes in the world of business. 2022 will be another huge year for SMEs.
Rhys Hughes
Research has shown that workers are 35-40% more productive when remote working than in an office.
Home Working
Small Business