2022 Unique Growth Challenges and Opportunities

Last year (2021), small businesses throughout the U.S. were still reeling from the economic shock of the pandemic. Business leaders were stumped by the increasingly bizarre political uncertainties causing conflicting directives throughout the business sector. There are unique new challenges for small businesses in 2022, this year of the waning pandemic-related fears and restrictions. This is also a time of opportunity, with some initiatives business owners can and should now consider in the increasingly stable business environment.

Opportunities for Small Business Growth in 2022

You can certainly congratulate yourself and your team on making it through to this side of the dreaded 2020-2021 period of financial and public health uncertainty. Now, the last half of 2022 is open to trying new concepts for growth initiatives.

Those might include ways to expand sales and marketing channels, and partnering with other businesses to expand your reach with product line introductions and growth strategies. Or, it could be time to step up your company’s SEO strategies to elevate your Google ranking. Or, it might make sense to add another of these initiatives to your planning for Q3 or Q4, or 2023.

Tips for Small Business Growth in 2022

To drive your sweeping business in the right direction for your company in mid-Q2 2022, consider the list of planning strategies for small businesses provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other small business growth experts.

1. Collaborate with Other Businesses to Expand Your Reach.

Partner with another local company to gain promotional exposure to a broader audience. Both businesses can benefit in terms of marketing and branding. Maybe your company could offer a service trial discount in conjunction with your partnering company’s special offer. Merging resources to publicize a valuable combined offer can often yield significantly larger returns and generate more buzz than the two can accomplish individually.

2. Increase Your Marketing and Sales Channels.

Over the past few years, the online marketplace has become congested and growing regulations have made online selling and marketing more complicated. Consequently, many businesses dependent on their digital storefronts have been adding other channels to compensate for some of these now over-crowded competitive web spaces.
If you’re experiencing this phenomenon in your particular market, perhaps consider expanding your marketing and sales channels for some of your product lines and updating with some new creative content.

3. Invest in SEO to Raise Your Site’s Google Ranking.

All marketing for any type of business this year should prioritize video SEO in 2022. Video is now an essential marketing feature. Video currently accounts for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic, by some accounts. That’s a staggering rate of gravitation to any particular form of marketing.

So, by all means, add a short video to your homepage and a few of your web pages, blog posts, and digital communications. Video is proving to yield increased organic traffic from Google. The search engine’s algorithm is now especially attracted to SEO blog posts and articles with short-form videos.

4. Position Your Business for Government Contracting Opportunities.

At the height of the pandemic, over half of the companies with contracts for supplying goods and services to state and federal government agencies stopped provisioning in that economic sector. Resourceful pavement sweeping service providers might want to consider developing the required performance, pricing, and compliance models to appeal to government organizations.

5. Foster a Caring Internal Company Culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on widespread attrition throughout the small business subsector. The unprecedented staff attrition of these past two years is now followed by a nationwide struggle to fill employment openings. Cultivating a more family-oriented internal culture that is supportive of people’s reasonable personal needs can go a long way toward retention. It can help workers feel that, among all the competing workplaces, they’re in the right place, a place where employers care about the people they work with every day.

Help your team develop an outlook of using work as a place to free themselves from dwelling on any other stressors or problems and just focus on positive thinking and activities and helping customers achieve their goals.

The New Agile Small Business

The surreal experience of managing a business in 2020 and 2021 was an ordeal for all, including small pavement sweeping service operators. It does appear now, at least by most accounts, that 2022 is shaping up to be the year of transitioning past the most extreme period of quarantine and other special public health requirements.
Even with the severe supply chain problems of the first half of 2022, there is an abundance of growth
initiatives vendors are encouraged to consider in the second half of this year. For example, consider rolling out some value-added features to enhance your service product, perhaps offering a free trial, and converting those to new service add-ons. Or, maybe launch a program of incentivizing employees to send photos of poorly maintained commercial lots with business names and addresses to generate a wealth of strong leads for your sales team.

What’s Next?

The need for greater preparedness for future surprise blows to the business community is clear now. Necessarily, the response is to promote growth, while the opportunity presents itself here in 2022, and to cultivate a stronger business sector culture of agility. It would acknowledge the supply chain issues and call for a focus on moving beyond the worst of the Covid episode toward new horizons in partnering and creative resourcing.
In any case, mid-Q2 is inarguably the right time to scrutinize your 2022 budget, make modifications as needed, and recruit your group in the effort to help increase the company’s profit margin. Ask for suggestions on how to shrink spending and more aggressively pursue ancillary revenue channels and quality surveys.

As always, before you embark on any risky financial endeavor outside your usual strategic boundaries, consult with a qualified advisor.

The general 2022 recommendation: try something new — something different — to reflect this different kind of planning phase for what may be a post-COVID business environment.