Adjusting Your Business Goals for the Unique Challenges of 2022
Rising inflation. A new coronavirus variant. Staffing shortages. These are a few of the challenges business owners will face in 2022. That means the definition of a successful business may look quite different in the new year.
Business owners everywhere felt the effects of some of these factors in 2021. But a unique set of circumstances exist as we head into 2022. Whether you’re starting a business or trying to sustain an established one, it’s critical to understand how the confluence of a resurgent pandemic and inflation will impact your business goals.
Inflation wreaking havoc
The specter of inflation is persistent — and growing. U.S. inflation grew 7% in the 12 months ending in December 2021, the fastest rate since 1982, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This has affected myriad sectors, including the average price of new cars, which rose again in December to an all-time high of $47,077, based on data from Kelley Blue Book.
Alex Mastin is the founder and CEO of Home Grounds, an online community of home baristas that teaches people how to brew better coffee at home. He said one must look at the struggles of 2021 to inform business strategy heading into the new year.
“2021 beat most people with a fat stick; most of all were the kicks to the wallet,” he said. “Before recalibrating business goals, business leaders should evaluate the past year’s strategies and identify weak spots that provided a challenge. Supply chain logistics suffered immensely in 2021, and this is one key area businesses can start.”
Making some changes to the distribution strategy of your business can lead to increased efficiency and help improve or maintain profitability, Mastin added.
Omicron leads resurgent pandemic
In 2020, COVID-19 was devastating across the spectrum inflicting damage to many businesses, which had to adapt to lockdowns and other restrictions.
The landscape largely improved in 2021 due to the development and distribution of vaccines. However, coronavirus variants have been an ongoing problem. The omicron variant has caused new concerns for public health and businesses heading into 2022.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the omicron variant accounted for 99.5% of new coronavirus cases in the United States for the week ending Jan. 15.
Businesses must be in a position to adapt to these changes in real time, says Edward Mellett, a careers professional and entrepreneur.
“If the number of COVID instances rises, some of your customers may be more reluctant to travel or conduct business in person, putting your company at risk,” he said. “Monitor your local and national scenario and change your procedures accordingly. If you don't take the required steps to ensure your clients feel safe and secure, they will look elsewhere.”
Other tips for businesses to address the pandemic’s resurgence:
- Make sure your website and social media presence are strong
- Be prepared for your workers to go fully or partially remote
- Reach out to former employees to fill empty positions
- Put enhanced focus on customer retention
Recruiting and retaining workers
The Great Resignation has added to a dwindling workforce, and it’s more challenging than ever for businesses to not only recruit new employees but also to retain their current ones. This is forcing companies to reevaluate how they attract talent and how to promote their workplace environment.
Data intelligence company Morning Consult conducted a poll for the week ending Jan. 14, revealing that 53% of employees would consider quitting if their bosses forced them to give up remote work and return to the office before they felt safe.
Eric Ang, director of digital marketing agency One Search Pro, said businesses need to focus on the employee experience.
“Investing in optimizing the employee experience in a business can impact overall productivity and by extension, revenue,” he said. “I recommend reigning in ambitious goals and instead, spending the first half of 2022 ensuring that the foundation of your business — its operations and its people — remains steady.”
This kind of approach is a common theme with many business owners. Invest in resources you know — such as your employees and current customers — while other factors remain unpredictable during a spike in the pandemic from the omicron variant.
Adjusting your business goals doesn’t mean you settle for less. It’s accounting for the reality of a challenging new year and being smart about adapting to the shifting tides.
Axos Bank is here to help you stay on track with your business goals in 2022 and beyond. Apply for a Small Business Banking account today. Call 844-678-2726 to learn more.