Digital Marketing

4 ways to prepare your small business for success in 2022

4 ways to prepare your small business for success in 2022
Written by Publishing Team

As 2022 begins, it’s a nice time for small business owners to reflect on all of their successes and challenges, as well as look forward to future opportunities. Over the past several years, business owners have had to make major shifts in the way they work, serve customers, and grow relationships within their community with vendors and partners. The reality is that small business owners will continue to face an uphill battle as COVID-19 challenges persist.

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A record percentage of small business owners report that they still find it very difficult to hire the workers they need to run their business. In fact, according to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Monthly survey, 56% (93% of those hiring or trying to hire) owners reported that there were few or no qualified applicants for the jobs they were trying to fill. The headlines around the new Omicron variant will also likely make hiring more difficult in early 2022. Business owners will continue to experience the ramifications of supply chain restrictions, lower profits, and increases in material prices.

But, the biggest challenges for small businesses are often also the greatest opportunities. Here are some tips to help prepare your small business for success in 2022.

Don Pearson is a regional banking executive at Wells Fargo.

flexible planning

If there is one glaring lesson business owners have learned from COVID-19, it is to be resilient. With the effects of COVID-19, companies have had to renew their online offerings and establish a digital presence in e-commerce. Most of them had to change relationships with supply chains and vendors or reduce staffing. When it comes to business planning For the next six, twelve, or even 18 months, one thing is for sure: flexibility is going to be key. Between staffing demands, supply chain delays, and rising costs, write your plans for 2022 in pencil. It will be important to keep in touch with your commercial banker, tax advisor, accountant, and local chambers of commerce to stay current on trends and developments that may affect your business. Most importantly, be smart and open minded to focus, using your experiences over the past eighteen months as a guide.

digital payment processing

Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business, but manually handling, processing, and handling cash, checks, and money orders can be costly and time-consuming. According to a report published by Wells Fargo in December 2020, one-fifth of consumers have made their first contactless payment during the pandemic, and more than half will continue to use this payment method, according to the National Retail Federation. The Retail Federation also found that nearly two-thirds of retailers now accept some form of contactless payment to accommodate consumer preferences as of last year. To gain a competitive advantage, small businesses should look to adopt technologies that can help accelerate their access to working capital such as Automated Clearinghouse (ACH), accounts payable and debit instruments, and business cards.

Labor saving techniques

Using technology to compensate for the continued difficulty in hiring workers is also something to consider. Many business owners are investing more in labor-saving technologies that help process orders, automate production and distribution, and prepare and train new workers. A variety of labor saving techniques are becoming increasingly affordable and now is the perfect time to adapt.

Sharpen Marketing Efforts

To better promote your goods and services, consider investigating, investing in and improving digital marketing tools, including:

• Targeted Email Marketing, which allows you to send different information to unique groups of customers and measure the effectiveness of your messages via open and click rates.

• Engaging social media campaigns, which emphasizes consumer participation through equity and results measurement.

• A robust online customer reviews strategy, including regular requests for customer feedback via pop-up surveys on your website (or in marketing emails) and timely personal follow-up to reviews – both good and bad.

• Comprehensive renovation of the siteincluding updating policies and products, adding character and branding, removing old or broken pages, and adding more photos for you and your friendly team.

Kick off the new year by undertaking a thorough review of your current approach to marketing and begin assessing the relevance of digital improvements to your strategy.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to planning for the New Year, applying these tips along with what you’ve learned during these challenging times, can help lead your small business into a successful 2022.

Don Pearson is a regional banking executive at Wells Fargo.

About the author

Publishing Team