As we head into 2022, businesses need to be aware of key areas that could impact your business or organization's ability to operate. In understanding these key areas, you can then begin finding ways to change processes within your organization to mitigate against business disruptions that could occur in 2022 and beyond.
1) Part of any recovery is fixing the things that broke (All-encompassing): There is no "going back to normal". Regardless of the specific industry, how any small to medium-sized business changes its processes to adapt to a digital and electronically consumable environment will be key going into 2022. This includes adapting how a business markets its brand, finding new ways of delivering your services/products, automating/streamlining internal processes to cater to changes in consumer buying behavior (e.g., homebody economy or kitchen to household delivery), and identifying new ways to support the community with purpose.
2) Environment & Climate Change
Climate change is real and will affect all businesses. Business processes will need to change to align with country-specific net-zero carbon targets.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: External Environmental Factors
3) Physical & Mental Health of employees:
Prioritizing the physical and mental health of employees will be instrumental in determining how much they care about their employer and serving its customers. Implementing processes to support employees will decrease attrition, retain high-performing employees, and could lead to them innovating processes that improve the business. Owners of small and medium businesses can work to increase their emotional intelligence and use empathy to lead the business. Additionally, being a servant leader can create a business with family-first workplace values and build networking opportunities with other business owners to grow business and bottom lines. Support your employees who may have a great idea to go into business themselves, you cannot prevent them, especially in an age where anyone can be what they want to be online. Once you release that level of control, you become a trusted mentor, investor, or create a mutually beneficial partnership to share their respective networking pools. Finally, if Covid-19 becomes an endemic – prepare to have yourself, employees and members from the community require to be vaccinated every 6 months.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: People Resiliency
4) Know the customer:
Creating ways of digitally communicating information about products or services during COVID lockdowns will let customers know how they can safely obtain your products or services; this will be vital for ongoing business growth. These communications can be as simple as using branded products in the workplace or providing virtual at-home consultation for skill-based services.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Consumer Buying Behaviour
5) Market it and Brand it with a purpose:
With the right amount of money, a business can get any influencer to sell its products or services. However, with a clear purpose in how the business serves the community, the business can align with influencers who have the company’s best interest at heart. In addition, creating consistent and efficient social media content will help businesses retain and acquire customers. All business owners - including standardized industry-required service providers such as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, chefs, or pharmacists - will need to think about personal branding as a key way to generate revenue since everyone in their respective industry will be competing for business.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Marketing
6) Businesses are being forced to automate and become digital – Part 1:
As noted in the first of these ten points, there is “no going back to normal”. Businesses will need to automate social media processes, order intake processes, ways of servicing customer orders in physical & digital environments, and meeting with customers/clients.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Process re-engineering
7) Businesses are being forced to automate and become digital – Part 2:
Be innovative in the technologies used to manage business operations but be secure about it. Things as simple as using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and understanding how competitors in the same industry are using technology to enhance their respective client experience will be vital for continuous growth. Additionally, it’s imperative that small businesses start taking on big business systems and processes; small businesses need to set up toll-free numbers, use interactive voice response systems and automations, and structure their businesses as if they are much larger than they are.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Technology/Cyber
8) Departmental silos will be your Achilles heel (Corporate Functions):
Instead of thinking about standard silo departments such as Human Resources, IT, and Finance, all companies should be thinking about creating ways for existing staff to learn new skills in cross functioning departments. Not only will this new way of thinking support employee skill development, but it will also enhance process innovation by bringing departments new perspectives on their respective legacy processes.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Corporate Functions
9) Accept that we are entering the “Gig Economy” and make it an advantage:
Employees are not dumb; they don’t need to be controlled and may have access to a lucrative network of professionals that can help businesses grow the bottom line. Creating avenues of strategic growth with existing employees for them to go into business themselves will be instrumental in adapting to the new normal. Mapping the skills required to do the jobs and creating ways to develop existing employees with learning those skills with the specific intent of helping employees build their own “Exit strategy” (e.g., Promotions, mutually beneficial partnerships/ventures) may be exactly what businesses need to survive through 2022 and beyond.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Service Vs. Skill-based transitions
10) Be ethical and source locally to mitigate against supply chain issues:
Using strategic inventory management and well-performing supply chains to continuously produce the products or deliver the services will be not only a competitive advantage but an opportunity to source from ethical and local sources.
Genesis Resiliency Key Assessment Area: Supply chains
Martin Gierczak - Founder & CRO, Genesis Resiliency
www.genesisresiliency.com/blog (Various articles)