This episode is focused on what we believe to be the top 6 predictions most likely to impact your business in 2022. The Top 6 Trends we discuss in the episode are:
- Millennials are turning 40!
- Changing workplace environment
- Increased competition
- Artificial intelligence and robotics
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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and this episode is our final episode of 2021. And it’s going to be a little bit of a different format, if you’ve been with us a while. And we’re going to be talking through what we believe to be the top trends that will be impacting your business and small business in general, over the course of the coming year in 2022. And so since this is the time period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, this is a great episode for us to be reflecting back on what’s happening today, what’s currently going on, and how we see that impacting your business so that you can start thinking about this to make adjustments going into 2022.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:55):
And so let’s go ahead and jump into what we believe to be these different factors. Now, we have identified what we believe to be six critical drivers or impacts that will be occurring and impacting your business that you’re going to need to be making adjustments to. Some of these probably are not going to be a big surprise is we talk through it. So the first one we need to talk through is staffing, staffing. And this is one that most of you listening in, I know it’s true for our business, that you just need to be aware of. And staffing is going to continue to be an issue in finding qualified staff to fill open positions and retaining those great employees or good employees that you currently have. So what are you doing to combat this and how are you adjusting things like benefits or offering something unique and making sure you’re taking care of your current staff? What are you doing to retain that current staff in your system?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:00):
So keep these pieces in mind as you’re going into 2022 and have a plan about that. Number two here on our list is a shift in the demographics in the workplace. So millennials are turning 40, or have recently started turning 40. And as someone who’s the oldest of the millennials, I’ll be turning 40 in a few months here, this is something that you need to be aware of, that the millennials are growing up, they’re the largest share of the workforce as it stands today and it’s something that you need to be aware of, whether you are a millennial and you are hiring young professionals, or maybe you’re a Gen Xer or boomer that’s looking to find staff and bring them in. So just understand this changing shift in mentality and understanding what might be of interest to folks coming up as they are turning and aging as professionals.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:03):
Number three on our list is inflation and inflation is going to continue to impact your business, whether you recognize it or not, whether you see it or not. The inflation is impacting your business and mine and so we need to be prepared for it. So what are you doing about it? We had a couple guests on one in particular who said, make sure you’re reviewing your costs. Look at all of your costs, your utility expenses for your rent and office. Take a look at other expenses such as maybe your food costs or cost of goods sold. Be evaluating these. Are they going up? And how are you adjusting your pricing accordingly? And it’s our understanding that the Fed, the Federal Reserve, is going to be increasing interest rates over the course of the next year. And it looks like it may happen several times, which means that the cost to borrow money is going to go up.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:04):
It’s this cheap or inexpensive ability to borrow money isn’t going to last forever. So we’re going to see this trend starting to shift up and so it’s something you need to be aware of, that this is going to be maybe impacting your credit lines, maybe impacting what you’re going to do in terms of maybe purchasing property or purchasing assets, buying new equipment for your company. So these are things you need to be thinking of. And if you’re planning to borrow money it for assets or other capital investments for your business, it might be best for you to consider doing that sooner rather than later in 2022. Number four on our list is the changing workplace environment. In so many businesses and companies out there over the course of the now almost two years that we’ve been living in this COVID, coronavirus pandemic world, the workplace environment is shifting to remote working, remote consulting, video calls, Zoom calls, using Teams and these other pieces of technology and how is that impacting your business?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:19):
Many things are starting to get back act to face-to-face, however many things are not going to go back to the way they were. The use of technology is only going to continue. So how is this impacting your work environment with your staffing? With your clients? With your customers? With the vendors and suppliers you are working with? I can say for example, in our business, so much of our business now today is done remotely through video calls. And I see that as a huge benefit. I think it’s been a great benefit to our clients and to our business to be comfortable using this video technology when we have clients overseas in other countries, or on the other side of the United States, where we’re separated by long distances. It makes it very convenient to help further and develop that relationship.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:16):
And the final piece of the changing workplace environment here is the autonomous working that your staff and team will be looking for. So take that into consideration that certain teammates may work better in the morning, some may work better at night. And if the work is not specifically deadline driven where it has to be done by, let’s say, 12:00 PM every day, this might be something where having that autonomy, allowing your staff to have that autonomy is going to be a big benefit. Number five on our list, number five is increased competition. And if you haven’t started to feel the squeeze or the pinch, I think that in 2022, again, this is just a best guess estimate here based on some data and information, but I think small businesses across the country are going to really start feeling an increase in competition globally, initially here. Certainly global competition is only going to keep ramping up from all over the world. And then the second part of competition is that new business startups have been up over 150% over the last 18 months.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:34):
And so this means that new businesses are going to start maturing. These companies that started a year and a half ago, six months ago, they’ve finished that first year of operation they’re in their second year, coming up on finishing that second year into that third year, they’re going to start maturing. They’re going to start competing with you. So be aware that while the pandemic shook out a lot of businesses that closed, we’ve seen a huge spike. In fact, it’s the largest record of new business startups ever on record that’s been through the U.S. Census Bureau that tracks this. And there’s really interesting data. If you haven’t tuned into the Monthly Franchise Sales and Marketing Trends Summary that I run every month as part of our webinar series, you should really tune into some of those on YouTube and watch some replays, one we did in December or November, where we talk about these numbers. But this is something that’s going to be coming and impacting your business.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:36):
And the last piece to talk about today is artificial intelligence and robotics. And if there’s one thing that the pandemic has shown is that you have to be thinking differently. And the artificial intelligence is here. It’s coming. Look at how others in your space are using this technology. What can you be doing in your business? How can this impact your business? This doesn’t mean that you have to be totally have robots running your business. That’s not the idea. It’s this duality. It’s this working to together with the artificial intelligence, with the robotics, to support your business. It’s not to replace. It’s to support and enhance. So what can you do in a cost effective manner to do it? And we’ve had a couple guests on our podcast here over the course of the last year or so that have focused on robotics and artificial intelligence to share about that.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:37):
So this is coming and it is going to start impacting your business and you see it as a consumer in things you’re purchasing, I’m sure. I know I do. So keep these points in perspective. So I’ll do a quick summary of the six that we talked about. Number one was staffing. Number two, the millennials are turning 40. Number three, inflation. Number four is the changing workplace environment and really saying where work is being done. So many companies are working remotely or working from remote offices or hybrid offices. Number five is increased competition, globally and domestically, from a surge of new business startups. And number six, artificial intelligence and robotics. So these are the six that I recommend and we recommend that you are thinking about as you’re going into your strategic planning sessions for the upcoming year. And so these are the key parts and points that we wanted to leave you with as we exit 2021.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:43):
We wanted you to be thinking forward, going into 2022 to be planning and to be looking, ready to go for the upcoming closeout of 2021 and the launch into the exciting new year of 2022. And so I wish you just much great peace and prosperity and success in 2022, as we bring 2021 to a close this week. And that’s the episode today, folks. So please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. We’re so thankful that you’ve been here with us. Our numbers have been surging over the course of the fourth quarter of this year for the podcast, so thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing and being a part of this journey throughout the last year, almost two. We’re coming up on finishing our second year here, so thank you, thank you, thank you. Just a huge thank you for being here and supporting us and being a part of this journey.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:53):
And remember as a final closeout, if you’d like to welcome anyone in your circle or sphere of influence to join the podcast community here, we would welcome that. Please make sure you share this episode with anyone you think that might benefit from it. So thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to seeing you back next year.