Small businesses have certainly had their fair share of challenges and disruptions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurs are generally known for having a higher-than-usual tolerance for uncertainty and risk-taking. The last couple of years have been even more challenging and unpredictable than usual. What kinds of trends should SMB owners be looking out for in 2022? Here are some to keep an eye out for.
1. Customer relationship-building is a priority.
Customers had no option but to change the way they interacted with businesses during the pandemic. They had to adopt a digital approach to buying goods that may not have previously been part of their lifestyle. As the customers’ shopping habits changed, their expectations and preferences were altered.
SMBs started renewing their focus on customer service. The key to survival during the uncertainty of the challenging economic conditions was to focus on developing relationships with loyal, repeat customers. As businesses focus on their customer base, other trends will follow.
2. SMBs will continue to embrace digital technology.
The pandemic forced SMBs to go digital as a way to continue interacting with their customers. Customers are increasingly becoming comfortable with digital technology, which means the businesses that serve them need to be using it as well.
- 71% of SMBs said in response to a recent survey that digitization was a reason they survived the pandemic.
- The vast majority of SMBs (79%) said they intend to continue offering contact services on a permanent basis.
- Close to half (45%) of growing SMBs stated they plan to deploy technology that will digitize future customer relations.
This trend is much more than just adding “more digital” into the mix and hoping that it will help a SMB be successful in the post-pandemic environment. It should be part of a well-considered plan that includes developing new products and services and pursuing excellence in daily operations.
3. More SMBs will apply Internet of Things to their operations.
In 2020, only 10% of factories used the Internet of Things (IoT). Wireless networks and computer chips make it easier for devices to communicate real-time data automatically, without human involvement. Gartner, the research and consulting firm, states that 50% of businesses will be using IoT by the year 2025.
4. Data mining will allow every input and move to be monitored.
Data mining is one of the benefits of IoT. Each step in the production can be tracked and studied. All this data can be analyzed, allowing SMBs to find more efficient ways to manage their operation.
5. SMBs will continue to adopt smart technology to stay competitive.
Smartphones are now a basic piece of equipment in business. Manufacturers are adopting smart devices inside their facilities to increase efficiency and help control costs.
You can read the recent 2021 Small and Medium Business Trends Report from Salesforce to learn more.
Now is the Right Time to Update your Manufacturing Business Software
Your business has made it through the pandemic. Now is the time to be proactive about preparing for the next phase by investing in ERP software that will benefit your SMB as it grows. Our solutions give you access to your data from any location from anywhere. You and your team can get real-time data when you need it from any internet-equipped device.
The capability for end-to-end transparency makes it easier to make informed decisions. The ERP software also allows you to automate your business processes to minimize errors and become more efficient.