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    In 2022, there are a few trends that can help you advance your business.

     In 2022, there are a few trends that can help you advance your business.

     In 2021, there are a few trends that can help you advance your business.


        The term "necessity is the mother of invention" needs to be up there with pain, sweat, and anxiety as small business owners consider 2021.

        There's no denying that the pandemic has had a particularly negative effect on small companies. Even in the darkest moments of an uncertain industry, seat-of-the-pants ingenuity and imagination helped propel these companies ahead. In 2021 and beyond, using the same push to optimize productivity and serve consumers where they are would propel the business forward.

        The acceleration of digital patterns that had already begun before the pandemic accelerated years of consumer behavior in a matter of months. Four out of five small business owners said they plan to expand their use of digital platforms in the future, according to a survey we conducted with Deloitte about how small businesses have updated their digital strategies since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

        Here are some predictions about how this transition will play out in 2021, as well as how you can place your company to benefit:

    Pandemic-driven changes can be a long-term positive transition.


        Sure, as we head deeper into the new standard of 2021, some companies may return to what was once "business as usual" after polishing their websites, becoming innovative with social content, adopting new e-commerce alternatives, and carrying out online shopping or curbside pickup. Don't be that business. Rather, be the company that is always enhanced for the best.

        And it isn't just about the internet. Wendy and Letha Pugh, owners of a gluten-free bakery in Columbus, Ohio, say the pandemic has inspired them to make long-term changes to their market structure. Bake Me Happy has expanded the wine and other selections to give it a bodega-like atmosphere, and they claim they're leaning ever more heavily into social media engagement as people's screen time has increased (a trend we expect to stick around). 

     

    Take advantage of technological advancements to help you develop your brand and empower your innovative team.

    Take advantage of technological advancements to help you develop your brand and empower your innovative team.


        You may not know it, but technology has made our everyday lives so much easier. Consider how Netflix assists you in finding shows and movies, or how a smartphone app can assist you in controlling different "smart gadgets" in your house. This ease of use that we enjoy in our everyday lives can and should be added to your company as well. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have progressed to the point that new ideas are possible for small businesses — and it's all happening behind the scenes. For example, automation removes the guesswork from making successful advertising. You can quickly create a personalized marketing campaign by answering a few basic questions about your company and your priorities. This can help you expand your scope and increase your sales.

        Dionne Mahaffey, a software developer by profession, found a lack of inclusion in the greeting card industry and created Culture Greetings, a greeting card line that features artwork focused on and elevating Black and Latinx cultural voices. She sends out automatic updates to customers via Messenger for important holidays and dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. She claims that revenues have increased by more than 150 percent so far this year.

      This automation software can also be used to create online ad art. Have you ever seen your kids make a video on their mobile in under a minute? With choices like Dynamic Interactive Ads, you can be a creative wizard tool by merely uploading the basic components of an ad and letting automation do the rest.


    Showcase yourself to promote the business.

    promote the business.


        If you're an extrovert or an introvert, your personal story is your company's story. Freres Branchiaux Candle Co., or FB Candle, is an award-winning artisanal candle company founded by three outgoing young brothers who serve as the brand's face. Hrag Kalejiban of Henry's House of Coffee in San Francisco uses social media to share the story of his family's coffee roasting origins. You can almost smell the beans in the photographs that populate his feed, which he sells to an increasing foreign consumer base.


    Take pride in the neighborhood.


        COVID further endeared people to small enterprises, and this will continue. Derek Loeffel's Labadie General Store in Labadie, Missouri, has only been open for a few months and still has a waiting list of local vendors. Loeffel co-owns the shop with his wife and brother and is a full-time police officer who began working on his retirement job. Starting a shop after a pandemic encouraged them to do virtual tours of specific sellers daily, as well as online shopping, curbside pickup, and delivery. Nearly three-quarters of people who began shopping somewhere new during the pandemic said at least one of those new companies was a small business, according to our most recent study of customer purchasing habits during the pandemic.


    Looking forward to 2022 and the arrival of Main Street 2.0


        Storefronts pulled us in to advertise brands and market our things on the Main Streets where all of us grew up. The consumer is at the forefront of the modern Main Street 2.0, and how you meet the customer revolves around the centerpiece. It's about integrating your physical room (if you have one) with your online presence, and how you meet and support consumers in several ways. Maintaining and understanding your clients, who have been faithful to you for a cause, is the key to the future. If there's one thing that the year 2020 has shown us, it's that we can't forecast the future. However, by embracing these developments, the company would undoubtedly be well prepared.

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