5 Intangible Trends Driving Business Recovery In 2022

Remember 2020, (the year that keeps on affecting future years). Well, it’s effects are clearly recognizable in some essential leadership trends driving small business strategy in 2022. But, at this point, we can view that as a good thing. Life goes on, and business goes on, and a leaner, more aware, proven resilient economic subsector has emerged in Q1 2022. Below are some insights offered by small business development and growth experts on what entrepreneurs need to do to capitalize on the best approaches to sustainability and growth in 2022.

This list is different from those we usually see offering concepts for investing in a small business to make tangible improvements. These are trends in more intangible changes.

From Surviving in 2020 To Thriving in 2022

As the Covid-19 pandemic seized the country in the spring of 2020, it paralyzed much of the small business community. There was political mass confusion about the right thing to do in guiding the public and entrepreneurs on appropriate precautions and the ensuing destabilization of the small business sector. Many companies went under. Others were just starting to recover over a year and a half later. Generally, by most accounts, commerce is now regaining its regular semblance of relative reliability.

As a central part of the 2022 return to normal, new trends in strategic business planning are emerging. Being aware of those can help small business owners stay in step with necessary changes to drive success in the new environment of this relatively calmer year.

1. Mental Health In Your Workplace

Focus on workplace mental health is an acute practical need that has become increasingly highlighted due to the onset of the national health terror that swept through businesses in 2020. Regardless of the size of your staff, stresses remain unusually high in the current aftermath of labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and new budget strictures, among other problems. With many more people now working part- or full-time from home, the blending of work and personal life comes with its own complications.

The toll of coping with these difficulties is often a negative employee experience, leading to burnout, costly turnover, and productivity loss. Managers seeking to stay ahead of potential issues are implementing approaches to increase support for and professional engagement with and between staff members.

2. Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Recognizing the fundamental need to manage workplace quality factors in a business, especially by exercising EI can no longer be considered optional. It’s now understood that empathy, for example, is not an unnecessary management trait or even a professional weakness. It’s a powerful leadership skill that enables business operators to help their teams rise to their work and personal challenges and balance their lives, which benefits all who rely on them.

Leaders who are just catching up are discovering that genuinely caring about how people are doing turns out to be an important benefit to a business. Other advice that positively impacts the employer brand, is to foster a people-centric work environment. It’s especially timely to make this improvement now, in the interest of sensitivity to what workers, their families, friends, and communities have been through over the past couple of years.

3. Networking With Businesses and Other Organizations

Business experts suggest this may be the most popular trend of 2022 — networking in your market. Instead of working on business growth all on their own, small business owners are multiplying their marketing and branding efforts by networking with fellow local business owners.

They’re discovering that obtaining referrals to other business operators, listening to their perspectives, and learning from their experiences, can offer significant advantages. It can benefit sales and marketing efforts, and a broadened perspective can further help improve leadership skills. It also presents opportunities to form new mutually beneficial business relationships that can lead to profitable collaborations and exceptional branding benefits.

4. Employee Development

If you think the pavement sweeping industry is one that does not lend much to creative opportunities for employee development, that perception will not likely serve well to retain new talent. Not in today’s competitive employer market. The best employees must see a path on which they can make the very most of their potential career in the industry.

That usually means the potential for management development or cultivation of skills for exciting lateral movement in larger businesses that have a lot of in-house administrative, sales, marketing, HR, Safety, and other functional units, etc. Mentoring or coaching means much more to a worker’s development than installing a new fun pastime game in the break room.

5. Making Branding Personal

Effective personal branding as well as business branding per se is becoming an increasingly high priority for today’s best small business marketers. Too many owners of small and growing businesses prefer to stay so far behind the scenes and leave their logo to represent the company as the image of its brand. They opt to avoid showing their market who they are and what they’re about. It appears to be something to do with not exposing their human vulnerabilities.

But, the strongest loyalty you can build for your business is through engaging your audience and letting them become familiar with you and your team as genuine people who enjoy serving the community.

Moving On, Goodbye 2021

As ever, tangible business needs continue to include improving technologies to be more current and competitive, such as increasing use of digital in marketing and operations, etc. But, in 2022, intangible needs have risen to the top of the priorities list. Entrepreneurs are increasingly enlightened about the need to optimize recruiting efforts, workplace values, and the appeal of their business to talented workers and to fellow business owners.
In 2022, adopting practices to prioritize once-believed optional initiatives, like building Emotional Intelligence, are now well understood as powerful sales, marketing, employee management, and business-relations tools. In other words, these are now recognized as indispensable in building valuable business relationships that sustain long-term success.

Of course, awareness of the trends in small business adaptations to account for these is one thing. Developing a vision for actively integrating them into a business’s current outmoded practices is another thing. Following through on that vision is certainly a worthwhile challenge for operators who want to adopt these critical trends for increasing and sustaining success in their commercial sweeping enterprises.