2021 was a year of successes, rebounds, and comebacks for small companies, and it was an excellent year for many. What challenges are next?
Even though small company owners confront great challenges, such as the ongoing supply chain issue, they continue to bounce back. And customers continue to support them. Even though finances can be troublesome.
As recently as last month, the National Retail Federation predicted that over 58 million people would shop on Small Business Saturday. Marketers had a chance to recover and reassess how to best serve the rising small company sector during the previous year.
We wanted to discover how small firms were reacting to the present climate, preparing for the future, and encouraging innovation. Recently, Forbes polled 500 small company owners in the United States to provide marketers with the information they required to effectively serve this market.
And, based on the statistics, the mood is upbeat!
Despite the fact that 41% of owners reported low growth last year, over half believe their company emerged stronger than before the pandemic. According to the same study, small company owners will be spending in five areas in the next year. What exactly are they?
Customer Satisfaction Challenges
Customers are at the forefront of small company owners’ digital developments. In the Forbes Small Business Survey, more than 80% of respondents stated they would concentrate on customer experience next year. One-third of respondents responded that the primary purpose of new technology investments is to serve more consumers.
Small company owners want to empower their teams when deciding what technology to invest in. Three out of four aim to improve their workers’ ability to create transformational client experiences.
It’s no surprise that many small company owners are turning to data to improve their client experience and reach a larger audience. According to our poll, 45% of respondents want to acquire consumer analytics software next year.
Initiatives Promoting Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
Brands will continue to prioritize diversity, equality, and inclusion next year, regardless of their size.
Despite this, 62% of small company owners want to invest in additional DE&I efforts in 2022, according to our poll. While Forbes is not a small business, it’s providing a good example for promoting a diverse, egalitarian, and inclusive workplace while assisting small companies. Forbes EQ is a dedicated area for companies, entrepreneurs, and charitable organizations.
Supporting underrepresented groups to share their experiences and insights with Forbes.com widens its audience through the BrandVoice content marketing platform.
The Challenge of Technology
According to 78% of poll respondents, technology will be a major investment challenge in 2022.
It’s perhaps no surprise that technology would be front and center for small company owners. However, they have no intention of investing in just any technology. Research also revealed that a staggering 80% of companies have invested in the cloud or intend to do so in the next year.
What is the primary goal of all of these investments? To service a more significant number of customers — and to do so successfully.
Workforce and Talent
Small company owners now aim to improve their employee experience, with 73% of owners predicting that personnel would be a major challenge and investment in 2022.
To empower their workers, 36% said they’ll concentrate on enhancing mental health and well-being while 35% said they’d focus on promoting work-life balance.
More than three-quarters of chief experience officers (CxOs) claimed they’ve already enhanced parental leave. CxOs have created clear limits around working hours to recruit and retain female talent. With “The Great Resignation” continuing in full gear, small companies will continue to prioritize talent in 2022.
2022 has arrived, and smaller companies are eagerly embracing it.
As an entrepreneur or small company owner, you need to be a futurist. Think past today. Imagine tomorrow, then act on your intuition, no matter how far-fetched.
Marketers will also need to be futurists in order to target small enterprises. Small businesses faced difficult times as a result of the epidemic. We’ve seen and heard about several firms that found creative methods to adapt and prosper.
Salesforce, the world’s largest cloud-based software firm, saw this coming a long time ago. At the height of the epidemic, Salesforce wanted to encourage small companies. They hoped to encourage them to keep pushing ahead while also recognizing those who had already made significant progress. This key action yielded great results.
So…find your blissful state when it comes to the modest requirements you have. Or, go big if you have the guts for it and are not risk-averse or fearful of challenge. Always remember that the longest journey begins with that single, first step.