In 2017, a new holiday was established: June 27 is Small Business Day around the world. According to the International Small Business Agency, small businesses account for 50% of global GDP. Even during a difficult year for the economy in 2021, it was the owners of micro-businesses who were able to change faster and adapt to new ideas and trends.
Nearly 90% of the world's businesses are thought to be micro or small businesses, employing approximately 68% of the world's working population. The NAFI think tank conducted a survey of small business owners in the spring of 2021 to identify the industries most affected by the crisis.
It is important to understand that all sectors were affected everywhere, not just small businesses. Major players and concerns have also been forced to change. All over the world, retailers and major brands have gone through a reformatting of business processes. Statistics show that small cafes suffered even less than chain restaurants. At the same time, despite the major changes, some industries increased revenues and grew sharply.
Any crisis is always a boost to human intelligence and adaptability. The pandemic was no exception. People, initially dazed by isolation, world news and new phenomena, quickly oriented themselves. And the following trends came to the fore:
The face of new entrepreneurship has also changed because of these changes. The first business idea of small business has now become business itself. Human values have become the new world currency: entrepreneurs transform into their business ideas what they themselves believe in. The new generation in small business is actively interested in environmental, social and political agendas, believes in innovation, adapts easily and is interested in progressive lifestyles. They rely on knowledge, constant updating of skills and abilities, social benefit and communication skills.
Most of the changes have been driven by the new economic and consumer demands of the world. Digitalization trends and the move of sales and services to the Internet are evident in all lines of business. Let's discuss the key and freshest ideas that are just gaining momentum in 2022.
The industry is attracting extensive investment around the world. The sports business has fit perfectly into the digital industry. In addition, amateur sports have left a certain age niche and have ceased to be a "thing" for young people: street exercisers and Internet programs attract men, women, pensioners and students alike. Into such a small business often go yesterday's consumers of services, who have studied the field from the customers and understand how it can be improved.
The variety of options, the collaboration of the IT industry and private small entrepreneurs, consumer loyalty and the availability of the Internet throughout the country, are the foundations for the success of the new phenomenon. The simpler the programs and more accessible the courses (it's easy to buy a social media training course now), the more successful the ideas within this trend. Online workouts are run by both yesterday's athletes and simply by enthusiasts. The main requirements of consumers - the ease of use of the application, taking into account the individual needs of the engaged with an online trainer, the lack of snobbery in relation to the beginners who train at home.
The pandemic has dictated its safety requirements: avoid mass crowds. The niche assumes a very compact gym with a convenient schedule of visits. In the regions, small gyms with a single trainer are particularly successful. Now in the gym is not as important multiple and varied machines, as a friendly attitude and a certain flexibility in working with clients: more classes alone and in very small groups (2-3 people). This does not imply individual work with the trainer: he, as before, is required rather a general control of what is going on in the gym. The more so because the majority of visitors to gyms are aimed only at toning up, at physical activity and not at sports success. Gyms need good marketing in social networks, loyalty and friendliness to people of all sizes, ages and health levels.
In isolation, people were quickly confronted with the need to keep themselves in shape, and they also quickly coped with this task. Now many are not concerned with professional control, but rather with private examples.
The stigma of mental health and psychological support topics is slowly being lifted, with people actively looking for ways to protect themselves and support themselves. Trust in telemedicine and online counseling is increasing. All of this makes the idea of organizing social and psychological support through small businesses popular.
Narrative and even bodily psychological courses and consultations are becoming more commonplace. Short sessions with a specialist or permanent therapy - the choice of format is now up to the client. Some psychologists offer to work with specific requests (whether to change jobs, how to negotiate with children or elderly parents, how to reduce anxiety). The place for meetings with specialists can be either existing platforms or separate applications.
Although tourism has proven to be one of the most vulnerable industries, the pandemic has also presented it with new opportunities and trends. After years of unsuccessful attempts to develop domestic tourism, the direction has received a second birth and multiple options for the development of small businesses on the ground.
A good knowledge of one's region and the ability to negotiate with local producers of goods and services became the basis of excellent ideas for small business. Experts point out that people are more willing to trust platforms and sites in the regions, "locally", than even proven tour operators, who have never been in a particular region themselves. Specialists predict a serious increase in demand for those who have managed to navigate and now help tourists find an apartment or a hotel, build a route to really interesting sites, do not miss interesting local stores. In line with the trend toward remote work, these services can be provided online, sending the customer links to hotels, attractions, bus schedules, etc.
This direction has its origins in the production of handicraft goods. Small businesses in the regions are eager to preserve and develop traditional crafts. However, small producers often face the problem of lack of sales channels and attracting attention to finished products. Often the only outlets for handmade goods in the regions are souvenir departments and craft houses.
Small entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this gap and turned it into the basis of a new business. Regular fairs or themed festivals in 2021 thrived in spite of the current restrictions, and the increased flow of tourists within the country only contributed to the popularity of the trend.
Not only young people and not only in the capitals have drastically changed their attitude to the problems of global ecology. Not all innovations in this industry require large investments or in-depth knowledge. The trend of widespread introduction of new ethics and rules of consumption works perfectly for small business ideas and is realized in small industries.
The basis can be the most common ingredients - flour, vegetables and fruits. Processing them does not take up much space, and the number of requests for edible tableware is growing rapidly. In Russia, this trend is only gaining momentum, and ideas for creating glasses and plates with the taste of fruit, Coca-Cola or waffles do not require much effort. As an OKVEDA when registering a small business, it is sufficient to indicate the production of other foodstuffs.
The idea got its impetus from the success of a startup by Elon Musk. The small investment, simple business concept from scratch, and obvious demand promise a long history for this trend. In addition, the use of vertical farms minimizes the cost of transportation and logistics (greenery and flowers no longer need to be brought from greenhouses), and a small green area has no problem meeting the needs of the fresh plants of the whole neighborhood or even settlement.
To the same niche small business experts include the idea of growing and selling phytowalls for city apartments.
The trash topic is becoming more and more commonplace. The simple idea of reusing used items is not new, even our grandmothers weaved mats from scraps of shabby dresses. Now recycling is making the rounds again and is being welcomed by a new generation.
Minimal investment, simple organization of a small production, the possibility of marketing based on their accounts in social networks - all this makes the trend very popular among entrepreneurs of all ages.
Interestingly, while the older generations were most willing to trade, the new generation prefers to provide services. The new small entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks and act on intuitive assumptions. They easily integrate and share their knowledge, and compete more easily.
Fresh business ideas are aimed at making sellers of goods and services and buyers a team, whose members are responsive to each other, united by shared values and (most importantly!) have a better idea of what they want to get in the end.