It’s a new year, and pandemic or not, trying new things and looking for ways to grow is an excellent way to shake off the winter “blahs.” The same is true for your business: it’s a good time to think about trending small business ideas as your company begins its new trip around the sun. Here are some of the small business trends—pandemic-inspired and otherwise—that will continue throughout 2022.
- Digital engagement and transactions. If your business sells a product or service that can be sold or booked online and isn’t already, it’s time to join the ecommerce age. Depending on your target age demographic, influencer marketing on social media is also a great way to get your business in front of Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok users. If you’re not ready for either of those yet, you can start by becoming more active on your company’s social media channels.
- Big business systems and processes. Dress your business for the job it wants—not the job it has—with big-business touches. Set up a toll-free number for your business with a professional voicemail message (if possible, mentioning how often you check it, in order to manage customer expectations). Consider features like interactive automated menus. If you spend a lot of time on the go, have calls forwarded to your cell phone so you can stay on top of daily customer requests and interactions.
- Emotional intelligence and sensitivity. You can apply this to both customers and employees. Given all the social and emotional losses and stressors that the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it, demonstrating kindness and empathy to others will help build a positive reputation for your company among customers and workers. This is especially true given that the pandemic isn’t over and that society will be feeling its effects for some time to come.
- Alternative pickup options. Data suggests that multiple options for getting products to customers will continue to be popular long after the pandemic. In one survey, 87% of respondents said they would like to keep using in-store pickup, curbside pickup, delivery, and other touchless options for paying for and receiving products.
Embrace Small Business Trends with a Business
Enrolling in a business accelerator program and working one-on-one with a business coach is an excellent way to get guidance on new and continuing entrepreneurial trends. If you own a small business in the Northwest Chicagoland area and are ready to accelerate your business growth with coaching, consider applying for admission to our business accelerator program with Next Level Northwest.
Next Level Northwest is a business acceleration public-private partnership serving the Northwest Chicagoland region. We support regional and local businesses through collaborative and innovative initiatives to help grow the economy. Download our Program Overview PDF here.
Ready to take your business success to the next level and become a Next Level Northwest graduate? Download and prepare your application following this process today!