Over the past two years, the pandemic’s impacts reverberated through the business sector, creating problems no one ever expected to face. Once-thriving businesses were forced to close, costing jobs and changing the way people viewed owning a business. At the same time, some sectors prospered, which means business owners in those industries faced an entirely different set of issues. Like them or hate them, these are some of the biggest business trends in 2022.
At this point, no one knows exactly what the future will bring, but based on the past couple of years, some business trends stand out from others. Louisville’s economy, like virtually every city, suffered, but the area’s mix of businesses suggests it’s likely to recover faster than many other urban areas. Here are a few trends to look for when exploring business investment opportunities in Louisville and the surrounding areas.
Agility will be a Must
Traditionally, most businesses included rigid organizational structures that found adapting to changes difficult. Today’s successful businesses will eschew rigidity for fluidity, meaning recognizing the need for change and moving quickly to meet new challenges will be musts.
During the pandemic, most businesses found that remote workforces and contract workers made it possible to reduce infection rates and keep their doors open. Even businesses that couldn’t make the move to using remote workers took steps to minimize any contact between employees and customers. That type of adaptation will almost certainly become a permanent part of the workplace landscape in the future.
Sustainability is the Future
Even though phrases like “going green” may seem like cliches, virtually every business looks for new and innovative ways to reduce their environmental costs. The reason is simple: doing so saves money. With the costs of older, non-sustainable practices increasing as regulations change, decarbonizing the entire supply chain is a smart move for everyone involved.
Since every organization’s environmental footprint differs, exploring a variety of options before adopting a new business model or significantly altering an existing one makes good business sense. Most experts agree that being willing to adopt new practices as they evolve will make a huge difference in how well a business does in coming years. If you buy a business in Louisville, take the time to determine how and when sustainability issues will impact that business.
Regulators in the U.S. and other nations continue to challenge the way some industries do business, and even a decision that doesn’t appear to impact a business directly may do so peripherally. For example, power companies may need to switch from coal to other fuels, which could upend the budgets of companies that consume a great deal of electricity. Another example would be obtaining packaging, like cardboard, if the harvesting of specific types of trees is reduced. Factor possible changes like this into your decision when purchasing a business.
Relationships are Changing
Attracting and retaining employees at all levels is harder than ever, and the types of relationships between management and workers determine how many people stay with a company. Demonstrating empathy is no longer a nice extra—it’s a must when companies must be flexible and able to deal with evolving conditions.
Dealing with the pandemic’s effects led countless workers to resign from their jobs in the past few months, and that trend isn’t likely to change in coming months if company owners fail to recognize that older management techniques no longer work in 2022. Worker shortages will continue to be the norm for organizations that are unwilling to work closely with employees and recognize their needs and feelings. While this may cause angst to some business owners, this is one of the biggest business trends in 2022.
Understanding How Social Media Impacts Businesses
Historically, companies used print media as well as television and radio advertising to market their products and services. While those strategies still work, 2022’s shoppers pay more attention to social media than older advertising options. In 2021, Facebook, YouTube, and Whatsapp topped the social media usage charts, but Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms also enjoy dedicated followings.
Louisville, like many other major metropolitan areas, enjoys a rather diversified collection of consumers, and not all of them visit the same social media sites. That means business owners need to determine which sites their target demographic tends to visit. Once that information is in hand, determining how to use the platform for promoting a specific product or service is easier.
One caveat must be considered here. Social media site visitors are fickle, and a site that’s favored today may be considered passe tomorrow. So, don’t become complacent. Understand that marketing strategies must change as the market itself evolves.
Automation in Business will Change
Worker shortages and higher wage demands typically mean companies explore using more automated processes, and the adoption of AI will certainly continue in 2022. However, not all types of jobs lend themselves to automation at this point. Even though reinforcement learning helps computers to absorb new skills, many jobs won’t be automated anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean Louisville business owners should ignore the future and pretend automation won’t impact their company in the future. When shopping for a business, discuss the potential for increased automation. Planning now makes it easier to move forward when the need arises.
Why Is Louisville a Good Place to Buy a Business?
Even when current conditions and business trends for 2022 are considered, Louisville remains a solid contender when shopping for a business. Yes, paying attention to trends makes good business sense, but there are also some basic elements to consider.
Many large organizations already call Louisville home or have large operations in the area. That means any business for sale that focuses on working with those existing companies should be considered when looking for a business opportunity in the region.
Logistics is always an important factor when operating a business. Louisville’s access to major highways, airports, and rail facilities means companies generally find shipping and receiving to be manageable and convenient.
The region also features quality healthcare facilities, entertainment venues, and shopping. That means employees have access to everything they need to live comfortable lives. In other words, Louisville’s attractions mean even more businesses are likely to migrate to the area in the coming years. That’s a win-win for everyone, including people who elect to purchase a business in Louisville today. While this article focused on Louisville, KY, these are some of the biggest business trends in 2022, regardless of location.