Signals of business change: Business Trends & Challenges in 2022

Melanie Richardson


Out of global crisis comes a new world of opportunities

This past year, business models have been reinvented.  Supply chains have been restructured. Organisations have transformed. How do businesses optimise for the new global reality?

Learning from the future

Organisations are using data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisions and define strategies that anticipate the future. Rather than focusing on the past for insights, organisations are increasingly looking forward. Rapid shifts in operating environments and human behaviour, mean that the historical correlations some analytical models rely on have been challenged. To find new patterns in data and better anticipate future decisions, new data sets - including real time data from across the value chain, are being processed by new analytic approaches based on artificial intelligence.


Sustainable purpose

Organisations are building sustainability into the fabric of their operations and making social responsibility sustainable.  There is a growing consensus that the interests of both society and investors, are best served by organisations that focus on multi dimensional value creation for the benefit of all their stakeholders, not just shareholders.

These companies devoted an above average share of their earnings calls to environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics, but their actual performance on ESG indicators was consistently below average over the past three years

Read our article on B Corps Certification to find out how this may benefit your business and the world at large


The shifting talent pool and changing employee experience

‘The way we work is evolving, with more younger people entering the workforce, more gig workers, and more remote workers’. In their book The Human Cloud, Matthew Mottola and Matthew Coatney argue that traditional full time employment will be a thing of the past, as organisations shift to hiring people on a contract basis with those contractors working remotely.


Human brand connection

‘Today’s consumers are seeking a more meaningful connection with brands. And this need for connection has given rise to authenticity as a business trend in its own right. Authenticity helps to foster human connections – because, as humans, we like to see brands (and business leaders) display important human qualities like honesty, reliability, empathy, compassion, humility, and maybe even a bit of vulnerability and fear. We want brands (and leaders) to care about issues and stand for more than just turning a profit.’


Mental health in the workplace

‘The 2022 trend that every small-business owner should know about is that mental health in the workplace matters, no matter the size of its workforce. Supply chain crunches, lack of staffing, remote work and the blur of the work-life intersection are deepening employee stress at a record rate. Implementing policies that address this trend will increase engagement, reduce turnover, and improve productivity.’


E commerce businesses

‘Many trends sprouted in the last year or so due to businesses needing to adapt to survive the pandemic. One trend I’ve seen that will continue to be strong in 2022 and beyond? E commerce. 

E-commerce businesses that sell products and services online are becoming huge. Why? Customers can easily and safely shop from home. And, business owners don’t have to worry about having a brick-and-mortar location. Not to mention, business owners can steer clear of some overhead costs; they can do all their business online. It’s truly a win-win.’



Cashless payments will become standard for businesses

‘At one point in time, cash was king. But, move over cash, because there’s a new trend in town taking over payments. That’s right, I’m talking about cashless payments.

Cashless payments can include a variety of payment methods:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Mobile or digital wallets (think touch-free technology)
  • Payment apps’


Key challenges for small business in 2022

‘Alongside trends there will also be challenges for small businesses. According to a recent survey of micro business owners by ZenBusiness, the top things they found difficult to navigate when they first started their business were:

  • Getting customers (50%)
  • Sales/business development (41%)
  • Securing funding (41%)
  • Tax responsibilities (40%)
  • Legal requirements (39%)
  • Website development and maintenance (34%)
  • Accounting/financial bookkeeping (34%)’


If you have any questions or plans for your business in 2022 and need help we are always on hand to discuss your plans. We have a network of trusted partners that we can introduce you to that may help you to push forward with your 2022 business plans.

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