The pandemic has changed the way many companies and businesses work. Some are still struggling and some are thriving. While the fight against the pandemic is not won yet and new variants are coming out, you can sort of sense the light at the end of the tunnel because travel is resuming, no doubt only to certain countries but that signals a start of economic revival.
In this phenomenal turn of events, coupled with climate change, turbulent economy and global challenges to deal with, how do business owners deal with the rapid transformation and adapt accordingly?
Here are the 8 emerging business trends to look out for in 2022:
1. The shifting talent pool
The way we work has evolved – remotely, in the office and/ or a hybrid of the former two. With more younger employees and gig workers, working will no longer be the same old same old.
The traditional work model such as full time employment will be a thing of the past. As businesses seek to reduce costs, they hire employees on demand or on contractual basis with them working remotely.
As the economy is slowly recovering, it is crucial that companies seek to reduce the overhead and environmental costs of doing business. A good start will be decarbonising the supply chain and beyond to improve sustainability across all the business operations.
When there is sustainability, it means that your business is also resilient, able to adapt and survive in the long run. In the current society, many people are conscious of consumption so sustainability is definitely the trump card to stay long term.
3. Agile structure
Traditional companies have a hierarchical and rigid structure. However, this is changing as business leaders recognise the need for more agility to allow teams to quickly re-organise and respond to change in a timely manner.
This is also due to the increased influx of remote and freelance employees. Having an agile and flexible structure encourages creativity and innovation, which in turn increases productivity and business growth.
4. Strike a balance between human employees and intelligent robots
With evolving technology, there are now robots and artificial intelligence systems that can perform tasks which were previously done by humans. This can prove tricky for many business owners and leave them wondering – what roles should be assigned to human employees and which ones should be assigned to machines?
Automation is the norm nowadays and is no longer optional but mandatory for many businesses. However, we cannot deny that some work is done best when handled by human employees so this is where business owners need to know their core priorities, goals and objectives to help them make informed decisions.
5. Your story
Do you realise that out of 10 websites you visit, almost 9 of them will have either “Our story” or “Our brand”? This trend is about informing people that your business exists to serve a meaningful purpose and not just a money making company.
Your story aka purpose defines why this company was started in the first place and a strong purpose promises something bigger than yourself – transforming the world or a better way to do something and that is important to your company.
Associated with your story, it helps consumers feel the connection behind your company’s brand. Today’s consumers are seeking authenticity and having that deep connection with brands.
Akin to experiential marketing, it is about engagement and making them feel that brands also have a life of their own – honesty, compassion, empathy and even vulnerability. This is so that consumers can identify with you just like a human being, part and parcel of their lives instead of a business trying to sell them products and/ or services.
7. Partnership with your competitors
We live in a time where almost anything can be outsourced – shopping, household chores, walking the dog and delivery etc. The global business world has never been so integrated and as 2022 beckons, it will become increasingly difficult to succeed without close partnerships with other companies.
When partnerships are in place, the resources can be shared and maximised. That means access to greater supply chain integration, data integration and sharing between companies and even cooperation between competitors.
8. New funding options
With more funding platforms available, the ways companies can generate funding is also changing. Connecting companies with investors and donors, business owners can choose to raise funds for their businesses via crowdfunding, initial coin offerings (ICOs), tokenization and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
This is how many of the new funding options operate – financial services like borrowing and trading take place in a peer to peer network, through a public decentralized blockchain network.
In conclusion, the methods used in business today might not be the same ones tomorrow so agility, being open to options and maximising your resources have become a critical pillar to sustainability.