So how can your business make the most of this opportunity for growth? Our experts provide a detailed analysis.
Businesses can expect to be trading in an opportunistic landscape in the new year. Bendigo Bank, head of economic and markets research, David Robertson suggests that there is a positive operating environment for business to operate.
“We are cautiously optimistic for a broader economic recovery, thanks to the policy measures put in place by governments and evidence of a sharp lift in demand already. Consumer confidence is also rising sharply, especially in locations that had been locked down,” says David.
Businesses can expect much stronger trading conditions in 2022. Tourism returns and the services sector rebounds. Business confidence is finishing the year on a high.
“It is still likely to be a bumpy, complicated and uneven recovery. But household demand is expected to pick up strongly into next year, based on savings ratios and thanks to funds accrued through stimulus measures,” he adds.
The outlook for small business
Bendigo Bank state manager business banking for NSW and QLD, Faz Goren, acknowledges the pandemic’s impact on businesses. Multiple lockdowns and re-openings meant business planning had been difficult. But, with things returning to “normal” many businesses are now setting themselves up for growth.
“Next year is about building a resilient and robust business plan that will act as your roadmap. For the remainder of this year, research and solidify your place in the market, identify your competitive advantage and set goals and budgets.
Now is also a great time to meet with your team, partners and suppliers to discuss your vision for 2022. And never lose sight of what matters to your customers” Faz added.
To help drive growth, Faz recommends small businesses invest in ways to automate repetitive tasks. This will create capacity to spend more time on revenue-generating activities. “Customer support is a great place to start automating, use a CRM to track customer orders and anticipate future demand.”
Faz recommends paying close attention to the sales pipeline. “Outline the customer journey. If it isn't running as effectively as you'd like, make changes that will positively impact your customer experience. Think about how people find your brand? How do they find your business? Then map the customer journey from there.
Step into their shoes to identify any stumbling blocks and bottlenecks. You might notice there are too many steps, and you might lose the customer in your process. Or you might notice there's not enough steps. Everything is about the customer experience” Faz said.
Mitigating future risks
While demand is ramping up, issues in the supply chain are emerging as challenges for business. This includes risks around supply bottlenecks, elevated freight costs and shipping delays. This is pushing up inflation and will also put upward pressure on wages.
“The good news is this is as much about rising demand as it is about challenges in the supply chain. So, unlike a stagflation nightmare where inflation isn’t matched by growth, today the outlook is one of inflation picking up hand-in-hand with consumer demand,” David explains.
As a result, meeting demand and having the flexibility to respond to unpredictable challenges may be problematic. Overall, the economic outlook is positive and growth prospects for growth are strong.
For regular economic and market updates visit our business insights hub.
Focus points for growth in 2022
- Have a solid Business Plan. Access our business plan template here.
- Get a clear understanding of who your target customer is and explore ways to attract them.
- Outline your customer journey – from enquiry to fulfilment. Can this experience be improved?
- Engage key suppliers. Outline your vision for 2022 and highlight how important they are to your business and how they can support you to grow.
- Look for efficiency improvements – can you streamline existing processes or automate repetitive tasks?
- Consider ways to market your business. Do you have a marketing budget? Do you have or need an online presence?