Each new year presents the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to our ventures. And this year is no exception. It’s a time to reflect on the milestones we marked, challenges we overcame, or risks we took that paid off. But, also, it is a time to set goals and get inspired for the year ahead.
COVID-19 may continue to impact the small business landscape. However, we have to look beyond the pandemic and redefine normalcy.
Key Small Business Trends to Watch Out for in 2022
As we enter 2022, I’ve been following key trends that will shape the face of small businesses.
1- Increased Investment in Data Privacy & Education
The National Cyber Security Alliance estimates that 60 percent of companies go out of business within six months after a data breach.
Coupled with the ongoing news of major cybersecurity breaches impacting various areas of the internet, protecting against cyberattacks and maintaining good cyber practices will be crucial in the new year.
To do this, small businesses would be wise to invest in security tools, vendors, and software. From email security and two-factor authentications to malware protection and data backup strategies, these additional layers of security will ensure safety for all users.
For small businesses without dedicated IT staff, outsourcing security management or working with a partner company can be a strategic way to become cyber resilient. What’s more, working with a partner company can also save you money as arranging in-house resources is a costly affair.
2- Simplified IT Environment and Focus on Mobile Devices
We know it can be difficult to manage the growing complexity and number of cloud-based service offerings. As you look to simplify, mobile devices will become more important than ever. They will allow business owners to do everything from updating inventory to completing payroll, all with a device you put in your pocket. What’s more, a simplified IT environment also saves time.
3- Emphasis on AI & Big Data to Get Smart
Artificial intelligence and big data can seem too, well, big for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right insights and analytics, small businesses can become smarter about their customers and more efficient in their operations, automating processes, and even helping prevent fraud. Technology is leveling the playing field for small businesses that want to compete with large enterprises. So you should not shy away from AI & Big data.
4- New Revenue Streams Emerge Post-COVID
COVID-19 pushed the small business community online by making digital transformation paramount to survival. This, in turn, created a boom in the online ecosystem and created new revenue streams for brick-and-mortar. This need to adapt will continue to fuel new revenue streams for small businesses. So they will have to reshape their business strategies to meet customers where they are.
Chris Wayne is the managing director for Verizon Small Business Essentials. Prior to this, he was the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Chris holds a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) degree from the University of Southern California and is a certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP). Before joining Yahoo Small Business, Chris was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
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Source: Smart Hustle