When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, it put many professionals out of work. Others faced cutbacks on hours or began working remotely, which allowed more time for pursuing multiple income streams. These factors led to a major uptick in startup and small business launches, many of which are still thriving as we enter 2022.
With this fact in mind, a panel of 11 Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) experts answered the following question:
“The pandemic saw a major uptick in startup and small business launches. What’s one trend you’re excited about seeing in this sector in 2022, and why?”
Here’s what they think will impact small businesses this year.
1. People-First Attitudes and Values
“The pandemic has helped people reassess what they value the most. People are now opting to spend more time with their family and friends, so they don’t want to choose jobs that offer no work-life balance. The 2022 trend for business owners will be to create stronger workplace values with a people-first attitude. Not doing that might mean losing your best employees.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
2. Avid Online Community Support
“Small businesses are agile and connect with their audiences better than big businesses can. I’m excited to see the formation of avid online communities around small businesses. Such businesses and communities can collaborate better to create more personalized offerings. This phenomenon also makes way for small business-driven social change.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
3. The Balance of Voice Search and SEO
“I’m curious to see how small businesses will balance voice search and traditional SEO. More people are using voice-activated devices than ever before. At the same time, this technology has advanced considerably in recent years. I can’t wait to see how new business owners use these advancements in voice search to grow their brands in 2022.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
4. Increased Hiring of Freelancers
“One exciting trend that I want to see grow is the increased hiring of freelancers and greater flexibility for workers. We’re seeing power go back to the workforce, which means a better work-life balance for all, as well as a better quality of life.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress
5. Skyrocketing Use of Marketing Automation
“In 2022, we’ll continue to see marketing automation skyrocket with startups and small businesses. Automation is a crucial part of a growing business’s success, so it’s important to learn how to use these tools for the best results.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
6. Easier Access to Virtual Promotional Tools
“The use of virtual tools to promote products and services will continue to innovate the way consumers shop and conduct business on a daily basis. More free or inexpensive augmented reality selling tools will be available to startups and small businesses that in the past would have required custom development.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
7. Hybrid Online-Offline Business Models
“One trend that looks like it’s going to continue well into the future is the hybrid online-offline business model. In 2020, even retail businesses were forced to sell more online. I think consumers like being able to move freely between online and offline shopping. For example, many customers like to do thorough online research before going to a store, auto dealership or other business.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
8. Cryptocurrency and NFTs Going Mainstream
“I am excited about the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency and NFTs. This revolutionary monetary system is fascinating, and so many people are engaging in the creation of NFTs. At Art Basel in Miami where we are headquartered, AI and NFTs were celebrated, and it really got me excited for the possibilities for small businesses and businesses launched utilizing these technologies and currencies.” ~ Matthew Capala, Alphametic
9. The Democratization of E-Commerce Tech
“One trend in the startup and small business sector that I’m most excited about for 2022 is e-commerce growth. With e-commerce website creation platforms like Shopify becoming ever more robust, it’s never been easier for entrepreneurs to get started on their next big product launch. This democratization of e-commerce tech is helping fuel more product innovation than we’ve ever seen before.” ~ Richard Fong, PageKits.com
10. Remote-First Job Opportunities
“I am excited to see more remote-first businesses and more democratized access to jobs enabled by technology. The remote trend has a chance to shake up the workforce by providing flexibility and access to a diverse but largely untapped pool of candidates.” ~ Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs
11. Unique Perspectives on Long-Standing Issues
“I’m worried that many of the new businesses and startups created during the lockdowns will be short-lived as people return to their normal lives. However, I’m excited for the possibility that some of these new startups will be able to provide unique perspectives on long-standing issues, not the least of which being the creation of a new work culture that emphasizes equity and inclusion.” ~ Bryce Welker, Real Estate Schooler
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I’m excited for the possibility that some of these new startups will be able to provide unique perspectives on long-standing issues.
I’m excited for the possibility that some of these new startups will be able to provide unique perspectives on long-standing issue
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