The market is constantly changing, with travel now slowing down, and large businesses planning to return to the office. It can be difficult in times like this for companies to form a single business strategy.
Last year, a business strategy created in January, was probably in great need of revision by the time June came about. This is set to be just as true for 2022, as COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, there are likely to be many uncertainties. Now is the perfect time to review your business strategy in order to respond to current trends.
1. Keep Up with COVID
When considering business strategy this year, it’s important to keep COVID in mind. Major economies are unlikely to return to the harsh lockdowns of early 2020, however, the future of COVID is highly uncertain and is something to keep an eye on. A recent survey by Deloitte revealed that 51% of customers are worried about their physical wellbeing when it comes to their activities.
Many businesses have been on the back foot when it comes to coronavirus, waiting for trends to appear before responding to them. A large percentage of consumers are taking matters into their own hands, when it comes to safety from COVID and may become more hesitant to travel or visit businesses in person. Make sure to closely monitor the situation locally and nationally and then adjust accordingly. If customers feel as though you are not willing to make them feel safe and protected, they may take their trade elsewhere.
2. Prioritise Digital Transformation
Before 2020 many companies were already starting to digitalise, but the events of that year increased this. Last year, remote and hybrid working, and virtual communication were the focus of many business's business strategies. However, as the economy began to improve, many businesses seem to have paused their digital transformation for the time being. This may be a big mistake.
Although it may seem like things are returning to “normal”, the future is most likely online. Businesses should digitalise, in order to be ready for the next stage of digital commerce. Businesses need to be able to respond to a consumer base, which is increasingly using online options.
3. Don’t Bet on Rosy Markets
When the stock market plummeted in March and April 2020, many thought the global economy would struggle for a while. Very few foresaw how untrue this would be. Growth has been on a sharply upward trend, and many business owners are expecting this growth to continue for the years to come.
It’s almost impossible to predict the trajectory of the market. Don’t build a business strategy on optimism alone. Create workflows that can operate in both good and bad times, and your business should be able to survive the ups and downs of the economy.
4. Understand Your Customers
In 2020, businesses had to adapt and needed to be able to reach customers at home if they wanted their attention. In 2021, customers were then more eager to head out and go to the businesses directly. So, what can we expect for 2022 and the 2020s in general? How can businesses expect to cope with the unpredictability of customer behaviours?
Sticking to a storefront may not be the way forward, as the e-commerce industry continues to grow. It could be a great idea to go digital, as there is a wealth of customers.
It may be worth looking into a hybrid option, as you would accommodate customers looking for an in-person experience, as well as those who prefer to shop virtually. Make sure not to neglect your online customer though, as this could be short-sighted.
5. Adapt Your Social Media
Social media usage is growing across many platforms. It is important not to just use the same content and expect higher levels of engagement, however. As users grow, social media trends continue to change, and practices evolve. The posts that performed well in 2018 may not fair so well in 2022. Take a look at our guide on How to Succeed on Social Media in 2022 to find out more.
6. Respond to Changing Employee Priorities
Consumers and markets aren’t the only ones to have had their trajectories changed over the past few years. It’s likely employees have undergone a few changes too. Employees are now increasingly choosing quality of life and flexibility over big salaries.
Many workers now prefer the flexibility of working from home. Prospective hires will also be expecting companies to be accommodating when it comes to remote and flexible working hours. Businesses too set in their ways, when it comes to a 40-hour, 5-day workweek in the office may risk becoming out of date.
7. Think Global, Stay Local
As time progresses, it is becoming easier and easier to communicate and complete business across borders. COVID-19 caused disruption to travel and international shipping, which caused businesses to refocus on local and domestic markets.
So, in 2022 should companies bank on the flourishing of international business or play it safe with home markets? It would be great to do a bit of both.
Don’t abandon local operations in the hopes that your business’s horizons will broaden soon. Make sure to nurture all existing customers and do so, whilst waiting for the perfect opportunity to expand.
It’s very hard to predict what will happen in 2022 and no one really knows the answer. The uncertainty of 2020 and 2021 is likely to stay with us this year, and you should try to adapt your business strategy accordingly. Prepare your company for whatever may come and expect good growth in return.
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