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Key 2022 business trends and how SMEs can finance investment

The year ahead looks set to be another one full of challenges and opportunities, with identifying key business trends and investing where appropriate vital to success. The big question is, how can small businesses afford it?

Digitalisation, hybrid workspaces and sustainability headline trends

There are no shortage of key business trends lists right now and while their content varies, some trends are present across the board. For example, there is the continued rise of digitalisation, from the development of e-commerce capability and digital tech in the workplace to the rollout of business artificial intelligence.

Another key trend is the concept of hybrid workspaces. While some employees are returning to the workplace, remote working is clearly here to stay. As such, firms need to adapt to this shift in working practices and ensure that they are meeting needs as efficiently as possible.

A further headline trend for businesses in 2022 is sustainability. The status of sustainability has grown markedly in recent years and this momentum is set to continue, with a growing emphasis on increasing efforts and greater communication of strategy.

Staff welfare, cybersecurity and rising prices other key business trends for 2022

Staff welfare, including physical and mental wellbeing and employee incentivisation, is also forecast to be among the key trends for the year, as is the growing threat of cyber-attacks and the need for stronger cyber-security systems.

In addition, businesses must contend with the impact of rising prices, as supply chain issues remain and inflation grows, and new taxes, with a change in the national insurance payments due in April, as well as the challenges posed by Brexit and the burden of COVID-19 loan repayments.

If small business are to maintain forward momentum and prosper in 2022, investing in relation to key trends is vital. However, given market conditions, managing cashflow and capital resources will be far from easy. So, how can these firms do it?

Alternative finance can help.

Funding core development and how alternative finance can help

With regard to alternative finance, in the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which is an issue that has returned during the pandemic, services such as invoice finance, asset finance and peer-to-peer lending, are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for maintaining cashflow and for essential investment.

These facilities, which offer a more easily accessible and personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target recovery and regrowth.

Furthermore, alternative lending is playing a prominent role in the government’s headline emergency support scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (open until the end of June 2022). Invoice finance and asset finance between £1,000 and £10 million per business are available under the initiative. This profile is helping cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector.

Key business trends for 2022 and SME finance options

While investing in the current climate is difficult for small businesses, which continue to battle unprecedented headwinds, such spending is essential to survival and growth. As such, awareness of all the funding options available is critical, from traditional finance facilities and government schemes to the services of alternative lenders.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony Hedger on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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