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2022: The Ten Most Important Trends For Entrepreneurs

The new year begins the way the old one ended: with corona worries. Social life flickers on the back burner, as do cultural activities, and entire industries struggle to survive. The colleagues in the home office communicate in the video conference that they are in quarantine or have caught the virus despite the booster vaccination. Yes, it isn’t enjoyable. As much as we would like to proclaim “No more Corona!” as a trend for 2022: the pandemic will probably keep us busy for a while. But we shouldn’t forget what will still accompany us: Here we present the ten most important trends for 2022.

In The Future, We Will Work On “Hybrid”

What remains when Corona leaves? The realization that many tasks can be done just as well in the home office. And that there is no need to commute every day to answer the emails in the office. As various surveys show, most employees want to balance working from home and being in the office. And as other surveys have shown, they will look for other employers if their desire for “hybrid working” hits rock bottom. So if you as an employer don’t want to lose your employees, you will have to adapt to a mixture of being in the office and working from home. This is a tremendous opportunity for the office: away from dreary desk islands towards creative exchange.

Stage Victories In The “War For Talents”

There is no end in sight to the shortage of skilled workers. On the contrary: more and more companies are desperately looking for qualified employees. You can lament about it – or do something about it. Employers recognize how important coherent and convincing employer branding is to even appear on the radar of the courted candidates. The way there begins with a self-critical look in the mirror: “What makes working for us attractive?” Those who find convincing answers can build their employer branding on them. Anyone who finds rather sobering answers has at least a starting point as to where to start to make things better in the future. And to land stage victories in the “War for Talents.”

Suddenly Sustainability Is Essential For Survival

How do candidates judge the attractiveness of an employer? Increasingly according to whether tasks and business models are meaningful with business owners insurance. This requires companies to question themselves: How sensible are we doing? To put it so brutally, “making a profit” is no longer enough as a corporate purpose. More is required – from employees, politics, and last but not least from the banks. At the behest of the EU Commission, they are required to pay attention to the sustainable management of their customers. The good ones get better conditions; the worse ones don’t even get a loan in the worst case. Since this year, sustainable action has been not just a “nice to have” but a strategic necessity – to survive.

The Comeback Of Inflation

Speaking of financial issues: In autumn 2021, inflation made a comeback – we hadn’t heard from it for a long time. Prices, especially for energy, have been rising noticeably for several months. The Federal Statistical Office reports an inflation rate of 3.1 percent for 2021. Many economists are also assuming a three before the decimal point in the inflation rate for this year. They refer to delivery bottlenecks (see trend 5) that increase freight and manufacturing costs. However, interest rates will not rise for the time being: “Monetary policy can only act when inflation has permanently reached two percent,” ECB representative Tobias Linzert told Tagesschau. So before interest rates go up, only prices go up.

Short Distances Instead Of Delivery Bottlenecks

The year 2021 has shown how vulnerable global flows of goods are – mainly when they don’t flow because a container ship or a superpower stands in the way. The year 2022 shows this reaction: German companies ensure more stable and resilient supply chains. As early as autumn, 63 percent of the companies surveyed for the “Mittelstand im Mittelstand” study said they want to better protect their supply chains in the future. In the large industrial sectors, three-quarters of those surveyed are working to make their supply chains less vulnerable. A crucial step in this direction: looking for business partners nearby instead of looking far away.

Artificial Intelligence: Finally Using Data

When it comes to artificial intelligence, or AI for short, most companies dismiss it prematurely: too much science fiction, too little reality. Sorry, but we’re not talking about neurotic supercomputers or robots on their way to world domination. But of data.

Many companies have been charging them for years. This data then lies around in some data cemeteries – a detail that is often ignored. Because nobody knows what to do with it, AI changes this situation: Algorithms dig through vast data and recognize patterns from which business ideas and options can be derived. AI means nothing more than finally making meaningful use of the data that companies are already sitting on. The time for this is: now.

With Digitization…

Will not stop, so sitting it out is not an option. Despite this, many medium-sized companies are still reluctant to introduce digital processes. My suspicion: Like AI, we are dealing with a misunderstanding here. When it comes to “digitization,” this means that we have to turn everything inside out so that everything runs digitally in the future. This is nonsense. Digitization begins when invoices are received and processed electronically when delivery notes are sent digitally instead of on paper. When personnel files are kept digitally up to date instead of bloating file folders. Digitization begins when you dare to make your work easier and more convenient. Who can argue with that?

Entails The Question Of Cybersecurity

Companies and authorities are increasingly working digitally. This makes for more efficient and convenient processes but also creates dangers. Cybercriminals attack every third company in Germany – no medium-sized company can seriously claim to be “too unimportant” for this. The threat is real: this message has finally got through. Companies of all sizes strengthen their cyber security – with encrypted data, regular updates, and testing for vulnerabilities. One of these weak points is people: naive or gullible employees often open the digital gates for cyber attacks. The only protection against this is regular training to fend off attackers or let them run into the void.

State Branding: How Does A Federal-State Become Attractive For Companies?

Companies think carefully about where to put a new factory, namely where there are also skilled workers. These professionals can choose (see trend 2) where they hire. Attractive cities are more popular than flat countries, that’s a well-known fact. What’s new: Where skilled workers have poorly suffered because of the color of their skin, their religion, or sexual orientation and therefore wave them away, a factory is less likely to be set up. The more “diverse” the environment, the better. Suitable for the cosmopolitan “poor but sexy” Berlin. Brandenburg advertises with the claim, “It can be so easy.” That’s precisely what it’s not: Therefore, a “state branding” with the question “What makes it attractive to invest with us?” analogous to employer branding is an overdue trend.

Circular Economy: Berlin Is Becoming A Circular City

To wrap up our preview, three trends – sustainability, the war for talent, and state branding – run together in the tenth trend, the circular economy. Her approach is to understand waste as raw material and thus conserve resources. Econet Berlin wants to ensure that Berlin advances on the way to becoming a “Circular City.” Five Berlin institutes are working on interdisciplinary approaches to transform the capital into an ecologically responsible metropolis in the research association. Three “transformation roadmaps” have been created for the innovation fields of circular textiles, circular electronics, and circular construction, which point the way to a long-term sustainable future. So the departure is already made!