A business is like a machine. If it’s missing a single important part, that’s enough to send the whole operation into chaos. For companies in 2022, there are a few parts that are so important that they won’t easily succeed without them. Here are four things that every business needs in the new year.
1. Business Process Automation Software
Automation has been dominating the headlines in business over the past few years. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are powering an array of new tools for success. Business Process Automation (BPA) software helps to automate and augment your normal tasks. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, analytical algorithms for market research, and team communication tools are only a few of the options you should consider for your company.
The advent of distributed data storage and computing can put many of these innovations in the palm of your hand through tools like CRM apps, file-sharing systems, and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. Shop around and figure out the level of automation that best suits your business needs.
2. Comprehensive Cybersecurity
2021 set a record for cybercrime, with global losses estimated at $6 trillion and an average individual loss of $161 per record compromised. Much of it could have been prevented by making corporate cybersecurity more comprehensive. The common term for this approach is endpoint security. This means treating all user endpoints on your network as vulnerable and insisting that high-quality, standardized defenses be installed on all of them. This is a necessity in a time when geography is no boundary for criminals.
A related concept is zero trust security architecture, which is exactly what it sounds like: assuming that anyone accessing your network is a potential threat and insisting on proof of legitimate credentials from all users. This may feel like paranoia, but these new security strategies will help safeguard your assets.
3. Quality Customer Service
Recent research found that customer service can make or break a company. According to the study, 39% of customers would switch to a different brand because of poor customer service…yet 48% would actively reward a brand for good service by spending more money with them. Your customers have enough stress in their lives. Keeping people waiting in long phone queues, making unhelpful chatbots their only source of assistance, and rerouting them to sterile call centers will only add to it. Having a kind, knowledgeable, empathetic human waiting for them on the phone or through live chat will earn their trust and their business. Live operators might cost more resources, but the payoff in brand loyalty can be huge.
4. A Strong Vision
A company has to be about something more than making money. If it doesn’t, it won’t matter to customers who have their pick of purchasing options. A good example of this is the demand for environmental responsibility among consumers. Market research reveals that 66% of shoppers view sustainability as a factor when making a purchase. The same truth applies to prospective employees. A separate study concluded that 40% of millennials have chosen an employer based on their commitment to sustainability.
Your vision doesn’t have to involve environmentalism, but whatever your mission is, it has to be at the forefront of your branding. In an uncertain world, people want to commit to brands that give them something to believe in. Instead of embracing fleeting trends, have a rock-solid commitment to making a better world.
Business success is never guaranteed; it’s a consequence of being prepared to make the best of opportunities. Keep these four business essentials in mind when planning your big moves in 2022.