Small businesses and freelancers are expecting growth in 2022, following two years of disruption, according to new research.
Small Business Britain has published a new report, with findings that show how 86% of entrepreneurs are “fighting back” and believe their business will survive the upcoming year, despite many admitting they have been less financially stable since the pandemic. In fact, two-thirds believe their business will grow in 2022.
The report also offers guidance on how small firms can adapt to change, introduce new technology, and build their skillsets. Michelle Ovens, who founded Small Business Britain, has commented: "The last two years have brought a rollercoaster of fortunes for small businesses … It is incredible how small businesses have used their entrepreneurial instincts to dig deep and keep going. But keep going they must! With the right mindset and the help of support networks, innovations like technology and new products and services, small businesses can make it through this crisis and be well positioned for recovery."
Dun & Bradstreet’s annual data report again offers more optimism, as they have found that 87% of businesses say their sales and marketing performance has returned, or is set to return, to pre-pandemic figures.
According to the report, this recovery has been due to a shift in the priorities of marketing teams, who are now opting to use data and digital channels. "With the pandemic having seriously limited sales and marketing teams' ability to identify and reach new customers, the renewed focus on data quality is going to play a key role in ensuring that they're able to better adapt to challenges in the future," said Will North, senior director at Dun & Bradstreet.
2022 is also looking positive for freelancers, according to a study by IPSE and Worksome. The new findings show that UK-wide staff shortages have been good news for those who are self-employed, with around half of freelancers seeing more demand for their work. Furthermore, 16% of freelancers said they only became a freelancer due to the pandemic, with 57% of these workers now earning more than before and 74% reporting feeling happier.
Despite this, times have been difficult for many freelancers, with 47% expressing concerns over their financial security. Morten Petersen, CEO and co-founder of Worksome, said: "While the freelance market may be buoyant again, it's clear that the darkest days of the pandemic and lockdown will have an impact on the freelance community for years to come. It's crucial for government, business and civil society to come together to support this group of crucial workers who were not necessarily supported as well financially during the pandemic as others."
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