In our previous installment, we highlighted that the spirit of entrepreneurship has not died but is taking on new forms because of the changes caused by the pandemic. Trends that are projected for the year 2022 have the capacity to empower entrepreneurs with useful skills, opportunities and ideas that can boost their businesses. We looked at a few trends projected for the year 2020.These included the fact that digital marketing is here to stay and it would be beneficial for entrepreneurs to gauge what strategies and platforms can help support their business. Though many may look on and think the economy is in utter disarray, there are certain industries that are thriving because of as well as in spite of the pandemic. A careful look at the landscape will help entrepreneurs to see what industries are thriving and by virtue open opportunities to them. The third trend we explored was remote entrepreneurship and how it can be a viable option for entrepreneurs that value flexibility and agility.
Automation and Entrepreneurship
International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) simply defines automation as “the application of technology, programmes or processes to minimise human input.” Essentially, automating activities provide for the entrepreneur more efficient ways of carrying out their business. Automation can be applicable to both business processes as well as marketing efforts.
Business process automation refers to the use of technology to execute recurring tasks or processes in an organisation where manual effort can be replaced. It is done to minimise costs, increase efficiency, and streamline processes (Tech Target). Some processes that small businesses could benefit from automating include: accounting procedures, employee management and relations and customer support. There are tools and applications such as Zapier, Buffer, Xero and Hootsuite which are popular automation tools that entrepreneurs can look into.
Stephanie Wells of Formidable Forms, a US-based Tech company said, “In 2022, we’ll continue to see marketing automation skyrocket with startups and small businesses. Automation is a crucial part of a growing business’ success, so it’s important to learn how to use these tools for the best results.” Automating a business’ marketing function can assist with email, content, website, social media and sales processes. Popular marketing automation tools for 2022 include Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Drip and OptinMonster. There are many marketing automation tools that have the potential to benefit a small business owner, and research is important to determine what tools are most suitable.
The overall push for automation is that it increases efficiency and removes a lot of the human input for a small business. This has the capacity to lead to more revenue for your company.
By observation, many of us can attest to seeing that the pool of young entrepreneurs is widening and more Millennials and Generation Z individuals are entering the arena of business ownership. In Jamaica, quite a few of our young people have chosen the path of entrepreneurship and for varying reasons. Youth entrepreneurs are motivated by the dream of pursuing their specific passions, while others are dissatisfied with the prospects of a traditional job. Many individuals within these generations are calculated risk takers and see launching a business venture as something worthwhile to pursue. Many gravitate to entrepreneurship because it provides a level of independence as well as it positions them to create social impact in the way they would like.
Asheesh Advani, the CEO of JA Worldwide said “This generation yearns for careers that enable ‘original thought and ideas,’ which has ranked higher than any other characteristic for Gen Z in describing elements of their ideal career and entrepreneurship delivers on this promise of creative control.”
Corporate entities are pouring resources into youth entrepreneurship to empower the younger generation to pursue business ownership. In Jamaica, banks and other agencies are seeing the need to spur on youth entrepreneurship and are investing in encouraging and educating youth to pursue careers in owning their own businesses. In 2022, we can expect to see more young persons engaging in entrepreneurship and this should be encouraged as Millennials and Generation Z can bring a level of vibrancy and innovation to the Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector.
Environmental consciousness has been a recurring theme for years now. Many businesses are pursuing more eco-friendly ways of operation and there is a market for entrepreneurs who make and provide sustainable products and services.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer in 2021, then Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Honourable Audley Shaw stated, “the green movement has gained so much currency across the world that customers are switching allegiance to companies which are paying attention to how their operations impact the natural environment. Additionally, investors are showing their support for the green economy by investing in those companies which have sustainable business practices.”
There is a market for sustainable business and as the world grows more eco-conscious in 2022, entrepreneurs can look to grow businesses such as these.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Norman Dunn has noted that “a recent initiative to develop an industry of by-products from bamboo is set to become a game changer for the manufacturing sector.” He added that, “with the island’s over 160,000 acres of bamboo, entrepreneurs should seek to develop this largely underutilised area which globally has created multimillion-dollar industries.” There are a myriad of ways to be kinder to our environment and entrepreneurs and budding business owners can explore business ideas that are sustainable and renewable options.
Explore the landscape
Across the globe, in spite of this pandemic there are individuals who have chosen to take a jab at entrepreneurship. In 2022, both entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs can tap into markets and industries that have been underutilised or are seeing significant growth because of the current business climate. It is important to keep a look out for trends, tools and opportunities that can assist with the growth and establishment of your business.