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It could be a difficult year for small businesses.
- Small businesses need to prepare for a potential economic downturn next year.
- Technology is always developing, and it pays to consider how it can help your business.
- Communicate with your clients and employees about any changes you need to make.
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The start of a new year will come at the end of the year. Many small business owners are hoping for a calmer time in the future. With a potential recession looming and no end in sight for sky-high prices, this could be a waste of time.
Five trends to watch for in the years to come.
1. Technology will become even more important
Implementing solutions that will make your life simpler is the trick with new technology. New tech ideas should not be embraced just because they are exciting. You should look for technology that will help your company.
If you sell a lot of products online, the right e- commerce software can save you a lot of time. You can use good email marketing software to build relationships. If most of your business is done in person, learning to use new software that won't help your bottom line is pointless.
We've recently seen the growth of virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the internet of things. It's important for a small business owner to understand the trends and how they might affect their company. If they don't fit with your needs, you don't have to embrace them.
2. Employee relationships are changing
Quiet quitting and the Great Resignation gained a lot of attention this year. They show a mix of attitudes towards work. If we go into a recession, the job market may change. Some employees are rethinking their attitude about work due to reports of fatigue and burnout.
Losing employees can be costly for a small business. Try to understand why your staff might be reluctant to return to the office if you are trying to navigate the waters of in-person versus hybrid versus remote work. They should be involved in the planning process to find ways to accommodate them. A recent study from Microsoft found that 85% of workers feel productive at work, while only 12% of leaders think their teams are doing well. Don't let productivity paranoia affect your decisions.
3. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword
There has been an increase in the number of customers who are adopting more sustainable lifestyles. Economic concerns have been part of the reason for that. People have been talking about sustainable living for a long time.
If you can find ways to reduce waste, use sustainable packaging, or commit to ethical work practices, you can appeal to a wider client base. If you can back up your claims, this is even more true. People don't have a lot of faith in companies' eco- claims.
4. Inflation and economic insecurity
Inflation continues to increase despite the Federal Reserve's actions. Challenges for small businesses are posed by this. It's hard to raise prices as you risk losing customers. It could endanger your business if you swallow the higher costs. It is possible to manage this by being transparent with your clients.
Many economists think that the Fed's anti-inflationary measures will cause a recession. It's wise to be prepared even though it isn't certain. If there is an economic downturn, make sure you have money on hand to stay afloat. If you haven't already done so, look for ways to make your activities more efficient. If you can save money, you can help your business.
If you can qualify for a credit card with a low introductory rate, you might consider applying for one before the economy gets worse. It's not a good idea to use a credit card to stay afloat, but it might help if you have short-term cash flow issues. It's easier to get a credit card than a business loan.
5. Video is where it's at
Keeping up with the latest trends on social media can feel overwhelming. Insider Intelligence says that over half of Gen Z use TikTok once a month. Do you know which channels your customers are most likely to use?
Video content is more important than text on social media. People watch videos on pages. A short video can be used to tell a story and build your brand. If video isn't part of your current strategy, it might be the year to start.
Companies will need to be flexible if they are to survive in the future. It's important that you communicate with your staff and customers about what's happening. You could use this to help you keep those important relationships.
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