4 predictions for Small Business Trends in 2022

The small business landscape of 2022 represents many opportunities, provided micro-enterprises can successfully navigate the challenges and trends that face them. From technology to customer experience, we predict the small business trends that will dominate 2022. We hope it helps you support your SMB customers, not only to survive in the wake of the pandemic but to thrive.

1. Customers will continue to expect convenience

The pandemic accelerated online selling – not only for businesses that sell goods, but services too. Consumers now expect the convenience of being able to interact with businesses, buy goods online and receive services digitally. From yoga to therapy, from art classes to medical appointments, the shift online has touched every area of life.

Now that it’s possible to access the same facilities from anywhere, customers are unlikely to give up that convenience. With online now the norm, there’s no going back. SMBs need their own web presence in the form of a website so that consumers can see they are genuine and then buy from them. For businesses selling a service, a scheduling tool also makes life more convenient for the customer. In just a few clicks they can select and book a time that suits them, and pay for the service all in one go.

2. The move towards a cashless society will continue

Cashless transactions were accelerated by the pandemic, as organisations moved to offer ‘contactless’ interactions to protect health. It could leave some people behind, and not only those customers who are less digital-savvy: businesses that only deal in cash could suffer.

In 2022 we expect more and more businesses to take digital payments. In fact, we have already seen that some businesses have stopped taking cash altogether. Figures vary, but reports in the press on both sides of the Atlantic suggest that between one in three and one in six people have had cash refused by a business.

And it’s not just businesses driving the change. Shopping habits are changing too – with more people shopping online or using digital payment methods when shopping in-person, SMBs must keep up. Gone are the days when a card reader was an expensive investment. Budget-friendly POS systems such as Zettle and SumUp provide a simple way to take card and digital payments. It’s an important tool for businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence to thrive as it means they can still sell to passing trade and not have to refuse a sale.

3. Technology bridges the skills gap

Global skills shortages mean that SMBs are having to look at other ways to get things done.BaseKit anticipated that small businesses would turn to technology to help run their businesses at the start of 2021. This year will continue that trend as businesses large and small contend with labour shortages.

And while tech offers a solution, SMBs must remember that the customer experience is key. Without happy customers, solopreneurs don’t have a thriving business! At BaseKit, we have been helping micro businesses for years – our website builder is super user-friendly and enables anyone to build a website that shows their business in its best light.

Our sitebuilder also provides the option to add an ecommerce store to the site, so business owners can sell their products directly to the market. Best of all, there’s no need to hire another person because our sitebuilder is intuitive and easy to use. When customers visit the site, they see a professional finish that’s easy to use. And a great customer experience leads to a happy customer.

Technology bridges the skills gap that small businesses face. It gives them a way to optimise their business without the expense of hiring someone from a shrinking candidate pool.

4. Now is the time to write a new strategy…

Technology also provides a way to stop SMB owners having to do everything themselves.

Invoicing, scheduling, marketing, follow-up… the list of things SMB owners have to do is endless. Day-to-day tasks all require that most precious resource, time. Digital tools that automate laborious processes are a big help, as they enable SMB owners to free up time to focus on activities that drive growth. From accounting software to a CRM system, technology offers a more efficient way of working and a chance for business owners to work on the business, not in it.

This matters because as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, SMBs have a chance to write their own future. The immediate crisis has eased, and the landscape before small businesses represents a clean slate. Shifts in consumer behaviour and how businesses interact with customers has changed the game…what will SMBs do with that opportunity? The pandemic delivered some tough lessons, now is the time to put that hard-won experience into practice.

How can service providers support SMBs as they take the next steps forward?

At BaseKit, we’ve been working on an application that will help service businesses to reduce their workload. Our scheduling tool means customers can book services directly with the business, without the need for lots of back and forth. It links with the user’s calendar, so there’s no risk of double-booking. It also means that customers can pay immediately, so the business owner doesn’t have to chase the customer for cash. The tool is designed not only to win the business owner their time back, but to make the experience smoother for the customer too.
Offering this to small business owners reduces the pressure and allows them to innovate. It helps service providers make a shift online, widening the frontiers of their business. In doing so, it supports diversification and helps SMBs ensure the survival of their businesses.

Perhaps your SMB customers could benefit from digital products?

The small business sector, despite challenges, is thriving. The ground is shifting under our feet and businesses of every kind are moving with it. If you’re wondering how best to walk the walk alongside your SMB customers, why not get in touch.

BaseKit has powered over 9 million websites around the world. Our technology helps SMBs set up ecommerce sites. We’ve more than a decade of experience in helping small businesses to thrive in a digital environment; and with today’s consumers more expectant than ever, SMBs must take advantage of the tools available to them.

Let us explain what we can do for your SMB customers. Talk to our experts today

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