This article is aimed at entrepreneurs who want to start the New Year off right, taking advantage of trends and forecasts that impact the industry. Keep an eye on these small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) trends and forecasts this year.
SME 2021 are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year. The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over for US companies, but this optimism is driven by the distribution of vaccines. The focus has been on pandemics since early last year, but other trends, as well as business owners, need to be monitored.
Let’s find financial, marketing, technology, and human resources experts to learn what small businesses can expect in 2022 and how these trends can be leveraged.
The lending program associated with COVID-19 is important, but not enough. Alternative sources of funding are also needed to meet the capital needs of business owners in 2022.
Paycheck protection programs support many small businesses.
The cash reserves of many companies have been affected due to COVID 19. Many states have reopened after their initial closure, but some have reinstated restrictions, raising new concerns about cash flow and the survival of SMEs.
The latest $900 billion stimulus package included additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was established last year under the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Alternative sources of funding meet unmet funding needs.
Borrowing is not an option for many other business owners, especially if they suffered significant financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, an alternative source of funding plays a vital role. Alternative lenders or investors can help many entrepreneurs raise the much-needed funds.
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Alternative sources play a vital role in a company’s maintenance. Grants, FinTech, Venture Capital, Angel investors, Peer-to-Peer Lending, Crowd-funding, etc. are some of the alternative sources. Given that the COVID-19 Pandemic is having a negative impact on the balance sheet, it's actual capital. These are important because many companies that need them cannot meet the demands of traditional funding sources.
Digital marketing spending can increase as traditional marketing and public relations are renewed in 2022.
Increase in Expenditure on Social Media
With billions of users on major social media platforms, it's no surprise that social media is growing as a marketer's target. This rapid growth will not stop in 2022. Big insurance and finance companies predict that social media advertising spending will increase by up to 20% in 2022, totaling $105 billion. That's almost double the total of $54.4 billion spent on social media advertising in 2017.
Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Media Group, said: "Everyone has been forced to move away from traditional in-store marketing. They have been forced to digitize, and many believe it's working well. Digital marketing spending will increase in the year 2022, "Zoldan added.
As social media advertising becomes more popular, it is also becoming more and more competitive. To increase brand and audience awareness, SMEs must focus on an organic multi-channel approach. Advertising can drive organic growth, but if an organic approach like content marketing can lead to a better return on investment, SMEs will compete with their competitors for social media expansion. You need to avoid getting caught.
The use of paid placement ads will increase in regular media outlets.
From 2012 to 2019, spending on paid placement ads in the United States increased from $4.75 billion to $11.24 billion, a trend that won't last until 2021, Zoldan said. He added that the line between sponsored and unsponsored content is likely to be blurred, as viewers prefer authenticity to advertising.
"Paid placements are very immersive and video-centric. It can be hard to tell the difference between what you paid and what you earned. " Zoldan added that this is a dangerous strategy for many media outlets and can threaten their credibility.
Multimedia spending produces a better ROI than traditional press releases.
Zoldan says the press release is less effective, partly because it is difficult to secure the media that it has acquired. Brands may publish press releases indoors and make video announcements about the current development of the company rather than sending text-based releases to the media in the hope that they will be published.
"Press releases are a thing of the past," Zoldan said. If issuing a press release today is of little value, "Zoldan added," adding that if a press release is needed, it's most effective when it's interactive or video-based.
SMEs are driving the adoption of evolving technology, and AR and VR will flourish as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses through 2022.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are unique.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been in the zeitgeist for some time, but 2022 could be a year to break new ground in terms of business adoption. The best part is that small businesses may be driving the trend.
"Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality allow us to experience the world in different ways, and it's very powerful, especially during a pandemic," said the founder and CEO of a well-known B2B marketing firm, Joe Apfelbaum. They can create trade fair exhibits that offer VR and AR experiences at an affordable price.
To excite the audience, small businesses should use AR and VR at a high level to make the market more competitive.
AI and big data drive personalization.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are two other technologies that businesses cannot ignore.These two technologies are a heavenly match that allows businesses to not only collect large amounts of data but also use machine learning to understand it. Companies can use the insights gained this way to better coordinate their marketing campaigns and discover new efficiencies in internal processes.
Apfelbaum adds that "big data today provides a fantastic chance to create a high level of personalization." "We have a predictive understanding of what our customers desire and can utilize this information to build a personalized user experience." AI can contextualize more than just business data, Apfelbaum said".
Apfelbaum said in an interview with Business News Daily that "for example, this call is transcribed by AI." If you say "$50", the section of money we're talking about will be created automatically.
Depending on what your business is and what you want to achieve, you can use AI and automation in a very affordable way, said Apfelbaum. "Purchasing a personal business license is simple due to the abundance of materials available online or in stores."
SMEs drive the adoption of new technologies.
A common misconception in technology development is that this is a large company for SMEs. However, Apfelbaum suggested that the opposite was true.
He said that if a new technology is introduced, if you're a small business, you can use it immediately. Large corporations must test and test again. They're investing considerably after testing and setting things up, and they won't need to change anything else. "
Be agile as technology evolves. This ability that can be done gives SMEs an advantage. Therefore, in 2022, it will be SMEs that promote the mass adoption of technologies such as AR/VR and machine learning.
Aaron Holt, labor law and labor lawyer at Kozen O'Connor, said the replacement of the White House Guard could make a big difference in the world of human resources. This can lead to policy changes that affect businesses of all sizes.
The national minimum wage will be raised.
The federal minimum wage has not been raised for more than a decade, and the significant increase was part of the Biden campaign platform.
"It's currently between $8 and $9, and the last time it changed was about 12 years ago," says the author, Holt. The Biden administration has proposed a $15 minimum wage, which would be a substantial rise. "I'm not sure if they will succeed in this increase, but I'm hoping for some kind of increase in the minimum wage. "
In the wake of the pandemic, the demand for paid family and medical leave is higher than ever. Recently, the federal government has expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include unpaid leave as stipulated in the Family and First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). But, especially if the Democratic Party controls the Senate, it could quickly turn into a paid layoff, Holt said.
According to the Biden administration's words, we may expect a large number of new paid layoffs. Biden has been vocal about this during the COVID-19 era. Hold added, "That's not correct for every enterprise, no matter what size it is."
OSHA will strengthen pandemic-related enforcement.
Many small businesses may not have heard much from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over the past year, but that could change in 2022. Holt said SMEs need to make sure they have the security protocols they need to prepare for increased surveillance.
"During the epidemic, OSHA was rather quiet about enforcing stricter enforcement measures, conducting active investigations, or ensuring compliance with pandemic-related safety procedures," Holt stated. I expect Biden's admin to change that. I expect OSHA to see much stronger guidance and aggressive enforcement at both the federal and state levels regarding pandemic restrictions.
How can SMEs ensure they are ready to pass a compliance audit as OSHA enhances monitoring and enforcement?
"The most important thing you can do is keep an eye on the CDC's guidance for how businesses should safeguard themselves, their employees, and their customers," Holt continued. Also, check for state and local regulations. County or state officials impose bans or restrictions on businesses, and it is the responsibility of local employers to comply with those ordinances. Otherwise, there are usually some discernible penalties."
SMEs need a COVID-19 vaccination policy.
As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, organizations need policies on how to manage their immunization requirements. Business owners should start policymaking right away, Holt said. Talk to a lawyer to ensure that all local, state, and federal regulations are complied with when developing your policy.
"As vaccinations become more widely available, employers will have to make decisions about how to manage vaccines in the workplace." Is there anything specific they're looking for? Is there anything you'd suggest? " "Creating and improving these policies and practices to ensure they match the operational demands of your organization is crucial, especially for SMBs without a human resources department."