As each year comes to an end, family and small business owners come together to review their annual performance. Whether the year has been good or bad, it’s always a time of analytical reflection and exploring innovative ways to grow, and increase profits. No matter the type of business you own, manage or operate – a part of this process is sizing up the competition and seeking out trends to keep up with. For this reason, we’ve put together the ultimate EOY guide to 2021 small business trends and forecasted small business trends for 2022. 

So, keep reading, bookmark, share or print these top family business trends to consider or incorporate into your strategic plans this coming year. 

Trend #1 – Diversification 

If there’s one thing that the recent pandemic has taught family-owned businesses and business owners – it’s you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. A recent family business survey shows that one common shared goal is diversification. With 50% of participants expecting to increase diversification in their family and business holdings within five years, and the top three priorities for the future being – 

  • Expanding into new markets or new clients
  • Introducing new products and services
  • Strategic mergers and acquisitions. 

This small business trend illustrates a growing demand to more proactively manage risk, and to further protect family-owned business legacies.  


Trend #2 – Sustainability and resilience 


In addition to diversifying, small business trends for 2022 also show an increasing interest in improving sustainability. Sustainability is not only a key selling point for certain segments of consumers but can help internally improve operations efficiency and efficacy too. By becoming more sustainable, and diversified – this adds to another small business trend of increasing business resilience. The pandemic and changing consumer outlooks are further proving that family businesses in the US have to improve adaptability to ride any waves of change more smoothly in the future. 

Trend #3 – Younger generation matters  


To compile on the same sentiment of resilience, more and more family-owned businesses are taking succession plans more seriously. Especially considering, a recent report discovered only 34% of family businesses in the US have a documented and communicated plan in place. As Forbes reports one of the biggest small business trends 2022 will see younger generations flooding the workplace, it’s crucial to compile well-laid out plans to educate, integrate and accommodate younger generations of family or non-family employees into inevitable generational and leadership transitions.  


Trend #4 – Talent attraction, acquisition, and retention


Speaking of employees, a small business trend 2021 gave business owners to ponder was the attraction, acquisition, management, and retention of workers in the new ‘normal’ we all now live in. Lingering from COVID transitions to hybrid and remote workspaces – this trend will continue through 2022 as the utilization of gig workers is expected to increase too.  The new business landscape has business owners looking at productivity and overhead costs in a whole new light that is expected to cause monumental shifts in operations. 

Not to mention, as minimum wages increase, and workers increasingly expect a ‘family-first’ mantra from employers, it’s also wise to begin crafting a company culture that nurtures retention and puts these types of practices and programs into action. Staying ahead of this trend is key for being competitive amongst like-minded employers that are recruiting from the same pool of talent. 


Trend #5 – Automation and technology 


It should be no surprise, that increased automation and implementation of new technologies are on our list of small business trends. E-commerce is an area that will continue to see growth, as more family-owned businesses analyze those overhead costs and the feasibility of ditching brick and mortar locations. As well as adding e-commerce as a way of diversification too. 

Shifting to technology-based systems, not only makes remote or hybrid workspace much easier to manage but also provides valuable and quantifiable insights that help more accurately strategize for the future, and prepare for exponential growth. Similarly, the use of AI (artificial intelligence) is another small business trend to keep an eye on as experts expect the use of AI to increase for the enhancement of  – 

  • Cybersecurity
  • Business forecasting and trend analysis
  • Customer support 
  • And beyond, depending on your type of business 

Keeping Up With Family Business Trends 


If you’re reading this, you’re already doing a small part in helping your business stay in touch with the pulse of the industry and ahead of the competition. Even better, is securing the health of your business with the partnership of family business consultants that can help level up success, improve operations and increase profits. 

So, take your R&D one step further and partner with Double Iron Consulting. Our team is focused on helping family business owners and executives achieve meaningful results for their companies no matter the industry or individual initiatives. Learn more about our services, or get in touch to begin implementing any one of these family business trends in 2022, today.