We have made it to the final business quarter of 2021, October through December. With the influx of the COVID variant, and other factors, the market has become choppier, and there are still travel restrictions in place. There is a problem for many businesses to hire new workers and many current employees are still working remotely, either full or part time. Some concerned people are still avoiding restaurants, large stores, and indoor events like movie theaters, etc. The pandemic relief aid for unemployment benefits has ended and many people are having difficulty paying their mortgage or rent at this time, let alone having any extra spending income. How can businesses prepare for 2022 to ensure they can remain in business and maybe even get ahead?
Stay Informed Regarding COVID
Business strategies depend on the trajectory of the COVID pandemic. While major economies will probably not return to the harsh lockdowns of early 2020, consumers are carefully watching how things progress. Too many businesses have been reactive instead of proactive. It is important to arrange to closely monitor your local and national situation and adjust your practices accordingly. If businesses are not willing to take the steps necessary to make their customers feel safe and protected, they will find another one that will.
Keep a Sharp Eye on the Stock Market
When the stock market plummeted in March and April of 2020, many thought the global economy was going to be depressed for some time. But surprise, the recession of 2020 lasted just two months, the shortest in US history. Growth since then has been on a sharply upward growth, but this may not last. Since it is almost impossible to predict the market trends, it is mandatory to create workflows and operating principles that can work in both good and bad times. By doing so, your business will be able to ride both the highs and lows of whatever waves may come your way.
Don’t Rely on Customers Coming into Your Business
In 2020, customers had to be reached at home in order to do business. We saw the boom of online grocery shopping with delivery or outside store pick-up. As things relaxed a bit in 2021, many customers were anxious to get out of the homes and started returning to brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants that were utilizing some COVID protocols.
What will 2022 bring? Businesses need to prepare for the uncertainty of consumer behavior. With reports like Bloomberg’s, estimating that the e-commerce industry could be worth over $16 billion by the year 2027 with few signs of slowing down, it is detrimental to your business to rely solely on storefront traffic.
By making your way to the Cloud, you will ensure to gain business from customers who have turned to this method. Whether it is offering your products on the internet to be shipped, or having curb-side pickup for products, groceries, or restaurant food, it is vital to provide this service. However, don’t neglect still offering a storefront or indoor restaurant, because doing so would be adopting a business strategy far too near-sighted for long-term success.
Global versus Local
Before COVID struck, businesses were easily expanding to global markets. But with travel restrictions and international shipping problems, many of these global marketing strategies have been closed off for the time being. Who knows when things will open up again internationally, so it is important to keep both markets in sight and nurture your customers wherever they are.
Increase your Social Media Presence
All platforms of social media are booming. It is important to stay focused and change and grow with the trends as they evolve. A social influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. Since the rise of social media marketing, influencers have become a major trend. They are being used more and more by companies to grab the attention of millennials who can be less receptive to traditional marketing techniques.
Brands will seek out influencers to create content that pushes their products or services. The company reaches their target audience, and the influencer is paid for their efforts to grow the brand and create a following. Make sure to include this type of social media attention in your marketing plans for 2022, or you will be living in the dark ages with respect to your marketing strategies.
With the uncertainties of the pandemic still raging, there is no sure way to tell what 2022 will bring. What is most important is to prepare your business strategies so that your company will be ready to deal with whatever comes its way in 2022 and can grow moving forward.