As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to talk about some upcoming trends for 2022. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that nothing is certain. But there are definitely certain trends coming up for small businesses.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, it’s important to keep up. Here are a few of the most significant trends for SMEs in 2022.
E-commerce on the rise
The pandemic fundamentally changed the way businesses sold their products and services. E-commerce saw a huge boom over lockdown. Consumers could easily and safely shop from home, location no longer mattered, and business owners could steer clear of some overhead costs by doing their business online.
Even as the high streets open up again, e-commerce doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The ease, flexibility and versatility of remote commerce continues to attract customers and business owners alike. And we’re the sure the trend will plant itself firmly into the new year.
A focus on well-being
One of the most significant lessons learned from the pandemic is the importance of well-being, both personally and in the workplace. A focus on employee well-being has become a much bigger priority for business owners.
Business owners are recognising their responsibility to look after their employees. Whether that’s offering services or signposting to sources of support, allowing flexible working, or keeping lines of communication much more open. And with the Great Resignation in full swing, employees are expecting better care from their managers. The research reveals that flexible working arrangements are now the number one employee expectation, with growing SMEs more likely to provide this.
It’s been a great way to strengthen professional relationships, improve employee morale and boost employer reputation.
Remote working is here to stay
Working from home became the new norm for many months. Nearly half of employees worked from home in 2021 due to the pandemic.. But now, even as the country opens back up, a lot of businesses have adopted a working from home policy, either permanently or on a flexible basis.
There are plenty of benefits to remote working, including a boost in productivity, being able to attract and retain top talent anywhere, and improving work-life balance.
Remote working, e-commerce, better communication, it all boils down to one thing: going digital. Small businesses need to invest in digital and cloud technologies to thrive and grow in the next 5-10 years. Especially if they want to keep up with their competitors.
Consumer demand, employee expectations and changing trends means going digital is the only way to stay in the game. You get faster processes, improved workflow and better sustainability. A win-win all round.
But the leap to digital can seem like a daunting one, especially if it’s your first time. That’s where AFP can help. We’re here to offer expert advice with your smart office solutions, software implementation and digital printing. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can work together.