It’s a time of enormous change for European SMEs. Not only have they had to contend with the enormous disruption of the pandemic, but long-term trends such as improving technology and the move into the digital realm have meant companies have had to adapt and pivot towards new ways of operating. Here are some key 2022 predictions for SMEs.
The worldwide coronavirus pandemic hit the European economy hard, and it is still recovering, but many businesses are optimistic about 2022. What’s more, not all businesses suffered. Some businesses prospered during the pandemic (such as takeaway companies, supermarkets, and delivery companies), as they were still able to continue to offer their services.
We have not yet completely moved on from the pandemic (and further restrictions due to future variants cannot be ruled out), but from a business standpoint, it would appear that a steady economic recovery began in 2021 and is continuing into 2022. Many companies began to offer digital services that they did not previously offer as a direct response to the worldwide pandemic, and this is likely to be a continuing trend for many SMEs in 2022.
The UK has a set target to reach in 2050, to reduce overall carbon emissions and become a greener, more sustainable nation. As a result, this means that all businesses operating within the UK must follow suit, and it is likely that many SMEs will use this as an opportunity to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also improve their reputations too.
But the benefits don’t just end there. Businesses committing to improving their environmental sustainability, while challenging in the short-term, will likely save a considerable amount of capital in the long-term by doing so. Even simple measures such as switching to reusable packaging and introducing recycling initiatives can save businesses thousands of pounds. So, expect sustainability to be a key area that SMEs will focus on in 2022.
The concept of corporate responsibility has surged into the zeitgeist over the past few years. It’s no longer enough for a company to merely concentrate on selling products or services, and morals be damned. Consumers increasingly make buying decisions based on the business ethics a particular company demonstrates. ‘Doing the right thing’ is now big business!
While this is nothing particularly new in terms of the world of branding and marketing within corporations and large companies, it is now surging up the agenda to effect medium and small enterprises. It could well be an effect of the pandemic, where local as well as national companies were expected to muck in and make an effort to help their communities. Whatever the cause, social issues seem more important than ever before now, and companies need to demonstrate they’re part of the solutions! Increasingly, SMEs that don’t
make a conscious effort will at best be wasting great opportunities to build brand awareness and trust, but at worst will lose business to their competitor set that do. Positive storytelling is a key aspect of many successful businesses, so many SMEs will likely take this on board and attempt to capitalise on this in 2022.
Hopefully you have found these insights interesting. Good or challenging, we’re certainly living through dramatic business times with some great opportunities for the fleet of foot. If you’re looking for exciting investment opportunities, why not check out the prospects within the trending crypto markets with quantum ai?