By Dave Toeben,

December marks the home stretch of 2021.  As the year ends, we take time to reflect of all of our successes and challenges.

The past couple of years, we have seen massive changes in how small businesses operate, reach customers, and develop new relationships.  We’ve been forced to adjust at a frantic pace.  Using the word “challenging” is an understatement.

Times change, a pandemic hits, and your vision must grow.  If small businesses want to stay not just survive, but stay ahead of the curve, it’s critical to identify and plan around a few areas in a post-pandemic environment.

I frequently talk to small business owners, and we have similar challenges.  While this is not a comprehensive list, here are four trends I believe will impact small businesses the most in 2022.

  1. Enhanced talent recruiting and retention efforts

The world is more connected than ever.  The pandemic has made employees realize what’s truly important in life.  Small businesses that have designed a culture with values that reflect the importance of their employees will be more successful in attracting the right talent in our competitive labor market.

  1. Employees demand more

The bar has been raised for creating an engaging work environment.  Increased pay seems obvious, but employees demand more.  We must continue to build a culture where we empower our employees to leave, but create an environment where they want to stay.  Today’s employees want to feel part of the bigger picture of a business.  Develop and train your employees with new skills to help them reach their full potential.

  1. Planning for the next phase of your business

As leaders of our business, we are responsible for identifying problems and delegating solutins.  We are responsible for goal and preparing for the future.  As small business owners, we are the only ones at our company who will be genuinely motivated to grow the business.  That’s why it’s important for us to work on our business, not in our business.  We must continue to identify improvement areas then delegate work out for us to be true visionaries and continue to build a successful small business.

  1. Networking has changed

Instead of growing alone, small-business owners can multiply their efforts by connecting with other business owners.  While we are all aware each of us alone can not solve all our clients’ challenges, together we can provide holistic solutions.  But in our pandemic world, networking has changed.  We must meet each other when we can and where it’s convenient.  Digital options can be just as effective as in-person meetings as long as we choose to use these tools that connect us on a human level.

I view these trends as exciting areas of opportunities.  These focus areas do not necessarily mean we must completely revamp a proven business model but represent a new avenue for us to tweak our business for future growth and resiliency.

I love the month of December.  The holidays provide me with a chance to reflect on the past year and make improvements to better serve my clients.  If you are a small business owner, I would love to hear your thoughts and how you are adjusting to the new normal.

I wish each of you a very happy holiday season filled with rest, relaxation, and enjoyment.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from Insight Insurance Services.