2022, according to Chinese astrology, is the “Year of the Tiger”. Whether you believe in these things or not, it makes for a great analogy for how to tackle business this coming year.
In other words, for how to become a Business Tiger.
Tigers represent courage and leadership. They signify boldness, determination, stealth, and strength (all character traits which can serve us in exploring new markets and sources of revenue, and in growing and expanding our business when times are tough.)
Because times are..well, interesting at the moment. In the real world, tigers are a threatened species, and with the curve balls most of us have been thrown over the past two years, it can feel a lot like we (and our livelihoods) are on the endangered list too. But luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Across sectors and all over the world, we are dealing with a rapidly transforming business paradigm. Not only is digitisation reconfiguring the commerce playing field and altering it at a rate of knots, but at the same time, we’re having to deal with huge political and socio-economic challenges, from carbon shedding to load shedding. Whether it’s climate change or connectivity issues we are faced with (or both), we need to “make like a tiger”.
We need to think strategically and act ferociously.
We need to stay optimistic. Focus on little wins and maximise on the new opportunities these changes and challenges bring. And there are plenty of opportunities out there!
The tiger is still in the jungle…the landscape’s just changing. So, if you want to join us in tackling business like a tiger, with energy, creative strategic thinking, and obstinate persistence, and in so doing move off the red list and onto the green, read on.
TECH TREND TO EMBRACE IN 2022
In 2022 marketing will only continue to evolve to match the needs of restricted real-world business, and the opportunities of online business. So we need to shape up or ship out.
UI and UX-optimised websites
E-commerce is growing apace and people spend more time researching or shopping via their smartphones than they do doing almost anything else. People decry our addiction to tech, but for now, it’s here to stay and we best embrace and leverage the trend.
A fast-loading, responsive, attractive, and user-friendly website with appropriate supporting and integrated social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp being the obvious starting points) is not a nice-to-have for your business. It’s a must-have.
Whether you’re a tarot card reader, personal trainer, or crypto-trader, your website is going to be the cornerstone of your business in 2022. So, make sure it’s highly functional, uncluttered, and is going to convert leads into sales or deals.
A website is like the front door leading into your home. It’s your most important marketing and selling tool you have. Make it work. If it isn’t doing that for your business, you need to reassess, re-skin or re-do your site. Pronto.
Search Engine Optimisation (done right)
SEO has come a long way from the awkwardly-phrased, keyword-stuffed copy plunked and pasted onto web pages ten years ago to attract users, and rank higher once crawlers picked up your key search phrases awkwardly pasted all over the show.
Today, it’s a complex system that requires an expert at the wheel. And the spend is worth it. Done right, it works like an absolute charm in getting you bumped up Google’s rankings to a first-class spot and enables you to reach the right and relevant markets.
Successful search and discovery strategies involve the perfect cocktail of Google Adwords, backlinks, great content marketing and regular content, product and service updates, all of which benefit users. Do it well and you’ll be richly rewarded.
Omnichannel Customer Support
Customers and clients are getting more vocal by the day. They’ve found ways to make their voices heard, and the “Karens” of the world are taking full advantage. What does this mean? It means that whether it’s an online review of products or customer service, you need to actively engage with your customers on all online platforms (and not only face-to-face). Do so by using great CRM tools, AI chatbots that really work, and by putting a competent, patient and preferably compassionate human in charge of your community management (where a real voice and a real person responding to queries and complaints, matters most).
Businesses who ignore their clients are going to become extinct. Like the dodo bird. Don’t be a business dodo. Be a business tiger. Make sure you respond to all messages and posts and if customer complaints are valid, do better. Apologise. Take ownership of mistakes and make up for them. Make your clients feel seen and heard. If you do, you’ll stay alive and afloat.
HUMAN RESOURCE TRENDS FOR 2022
Embrace the hybrid working model
So covid happened and we all went home and offices became like those dust bowl sets on Westerns with a tumbleweed rolling past the water cooler with not a soul in sight.
Then vaccinations happened and rates of infection continued to trough, then peak, then trough again, and slowly and cautiously, we stepped back into co-working spaces beyond the living room couch.
The open-close, lockdown, shutdown thing? It’s here now. For the foreseeable future.
On top of which almost every employee survey conducted over the past 24 months shows the same trend: employees love the hybrid work model. Remote work mixed with on-site professional connection is a win. If you have a team you trust, let them work from home some of the time. And if that means downsizing your rented office space, now is the time to seriously consider it.
Then just make sure you’re utilising the available online tools to help you project manage and communicate properly. And hold your staff accountable. As long as they meet targets, everyone's a winner.
Explore assets in the gig economy
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be highly adaptable and resilient in how we do business and manage as much of our professional dealings as possible online (versus doing so in person).
But something else that’s emerging is that there’s an incredible global talent pool out there willing to work on a part-time, flexible, contractual basis. Especially young, hungry graduates armed with knowledge and ready to enter the job market and take names.
Advertise on Linked In. Try out a few applicants and find the right fit. Freelancers and subcontractors working remotely can enhance your business massively. And save you money at the same time.
Build a brand that’s authentic and purposeful
The modern consumer is no fool. They know how to shop around and they know what matters to them. They know lip service when they see it. They smell rats and BS from miles away. So, don’t be glib, or fake or make your customers promises you can’t keep. Be real. Strive for brand authenticity and consistency. Communicate your values and show how you live them out. Be transparent in your dealings. Acknowledge mistakes, but equally, celebrate wins that your community, customers and collaborators will be interested in.
Do some good.
That means exploring social investment and innovation and sustainable solutions for your business. Can you go paperless? Or at least, minimise printing documents unless absolutely necessary? Can you supply the office with Fairtrade coffee and encourage meatless Mondays? Can you round up employees for a monthly beach cleanup, to mitigate pollution in your hometown or city?
Focus on the wins. Reach new heights. Make the lasting impact you’ve been aspiring towards. Tigers don’t have to go extinct. And neither do we. We just need to be proactive and make the necessary changes not only to survive, but to thrive.
G Studio Branding Agency is adhering to all levels of the national lockdown and will work remotely until further notice.
Our team is ready to take on and overcome any challenges that may be posed by these circumstances. We don’t expect our services to be impacted during the lockdown period, and our team has planned meticulously to ensure that you receive the same level of assistance.
Our systems are expected to perform without fault during this time. We have addressed business-continuity planning, to mitigate risk for our clients.
During the upcoming lockdown period, kindly take note of the following details:
Throughout this period, we will fulfil all obligations without fail.
Our team is working towards the long term prosperity of this world.
The G Studio Branding Agency Team