The Biggest Challenges Facing Businesses This Year


The beginning of a New Year is when many of us look ahead with a fresh sense of optimism. We have relaxed during the holiday season and returned fully rested with a new sense of purpose. We have our resolutions planned, we know where we want to take our businesses, and we are determined that nothing will derail us from achieving our goals.

However, the last couple of years have taught us that things won’t always go as smoothly as we would hope. Challenges can come and these could cause issues for many businesses. It does feel as though we have been through more than enough unpleasant surprises since March 2020, but the fact is that there are some real challenges on the horizon. 

This is the time when we all need to be thinking about positive steps forward. Equally, we also need to make sure that we are taking every step possible to protect ourselves from anything to come. Here are just a few of the biggest challenges we can anticipate in 2022, and a few tips for how to best protect yourselves from them.

The Market Is Still Unstable

Uncertainty still abounds, and as such the global economy is still evolving. We saw over the holiday period that a new variant can do a lot of damage to businesses, and there is still a huge amount of uncertainty out there. The forecast for the year ahead is more optimistic, but it would be foolish to assume that there won’t be challenges in the future. 

There is very little that you can do to impact the stability of the business market, but you can make sure that you have given yourself enough flexibility to bounce back from any sudden shocks. Giving yourself some extra money in your budget is essential right now to keep you afloat through any further hard months. Committing to set dates for major launches cannot always be avoided, but think about what you can do if that date suddenly becomes unworkable. You and your team should be working on alternate scenarios whenever possible to give yourself as much flexibility as you can. 

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The Return To The Office Is Still Up In The Air

We all thought that this was one of the elements of the new normal that would resolve quickly. However, as the events leading up to the end of 2022 showed, there are plenty of reasons why businesses and workers are still extremely wary about heading back to the office. This is one of the biggest examples of why flexibility is so important, as many companies are still paying for expensive office space with no one in it. 

The start of a new year may be the perfect time to sit down and interrogate whether the pros of having a brick-and-mortar space outweigh the benefits of being able to work remotely. If you are launching a new businesses, an office has long been seen as one of the best ways to establish yourself as a legitimate enterprise. But with so much work being done remotely, it might make more sense to take advantage of the flexibility that remote work has to offer. Using this approach, you can save the money that you would have spent on office space, and you will ensure that you can hire from a much bigger talent pool because location is not an issue.

Cybersecurity Is Only Going To Get More Important

Anyone who thought that cybercrime would slowly fade away once governments focus on it has been sorely mistaken. The massive rise in ransomware and other cybercrime activities once the world started doing all its business online was expected perhaps, but the sad fact of the matter is that this is a trend that is only going up. If your business was lucky enough to avoid getting hit by any nefarious cyber activities in the last two years, then you can count yourself lucky. 

But that does not make preparing your business for attacks in the future any less crucial. Even though the software available to secure your systems and data is constantly becoming more advanced, criminals are only ever one step behind. It is not enough to buy good software; you need to make sure that you understand the issue at hand. An online course in cybersecurity can teach you everything you need to know about managing risk in the information age, and the Harvard Online cybersecurity certification course is designed and guided by the former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense.

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The Climate Issue Is Crucial For Everyone

If there has been one issue that has been on the front pages more than the pandemic over the last two years, it has been global warming. We saw the impact of climate change in the rise of extreme weather events across the world, including plenty in America too, with the December wildfires in Colorado painting a bleak picture of where we’re at. What is becoming increasingly clear is that urgent action is needed now, and we are seeing global leaders and business leaders stepping up to make positive changes. Consumers value businesses that take sustainability seriously, so this is a valuable approach for many organizations. 

Look at your suppliers and make sure that they have an environmental strategy with which you can work. You can also explore the materials and methods you use for packaging and make sure that you are efficient, not to mention using recycled and recyclable materials. When recycling in the office, talk to your employees about what they need to do and remember that electronic waste is a huge issue. If you are getting rid of any old machinery or appliances (and upgrading to more energy-efficient models is highly recommended), then look for a recycling facility near you that handles e-waste. If the machines still work, you can also think about donating them to local charities, libraries, or schools. And if you are still working in the office, look at what incentives you can offer your staff to take public transport, walk or cycle to work.

Staff Are Reconsidering Their Goals

In the second half of 2021, we witnessed what many referred to as the Great Resignation. Employees across the corporate landscape started leaving their jobs to look for new career options. The difficulty of the last two years has forced everyone to reconsider their priorities, and it is going to be up to businesses to think about how they can best motivate their staff to stick around. Remember that it is still just as important to keep building a sense of team spirit. Think about how you can demonstrate how much you value your team to them. One of the best ways you can is by offering them the tools needed to progress instead of hiring outside your organization. Encourage them to shadow staff members on other projects and offer learning opportunities wherever possible. 


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