The business landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of years and looking ahead to this year, there are more challenges and opportunities to come. Within this blog post we summarise some of the key areas for businesses to consider as we enter 2022.
Companies are continuing to feel the affects of the UK labour shortage and the search for skilled labour is ongoing because of Brexit and the tighter restrictions surrounding recruitment. As of November 2021, job vacancy figures reached a record high of 1.2 million. Adding to this, workplaces have changed significantly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and employees have become more transient taking on additional roles and businesses have had to implement working from home strategies.
With reports that only 50% of the worldwide population are vaccinated, and increasing infection rates within the UK, it is fair to say the Covid-19 pandemic is not going anywhere yet. This adds to the staffing issues, already being faced due to the labour shortage, as staff members take time off work due to isolation and recovery from the virus. Businesses also face continued uncertainty surrounding future regulations which could impact the running of the business, particularly those in hospitality and retail.
2021 was a big year for climate change and following the COP26 conference over half of the UK’s largest businesses pledged to go net zero by 2050 with lots of SME’s following suit, putting pressure on those who don’t of falling behind competition. However, many businesses will struggle with a green transition due to lack of funds and established business models creating a big challenge for some.
Cyber threats are no joke and they’re rising significantly as the first half of 2021 saw ransomware attacks double creating a very real threat for businesses. Experts have warned cyber security is set to become an even bigger issue as cyber threats increase so you should educate yourself and employees, seek advice from cyber security experts and proactively put measures in place to protect your business.
On top of all the other challenges mentioned, businesses are facing rising costs due to increased energy costs and rising costs of goods. The government has strongly hinted that inflation could reach 5% in 2022 creating additional financial pressure for businesses. Advice here would be to take stock of your business, review your cashflow and put measures in place to manage your cashflow. Investing in a good Financial and Supply Chain Software can help you combat rising costs by helping you to make smarter decisions and buying.
Despite the number of challenges facing businesses in 2022, there continues to be a greater number of opportunities and recent surveys have found business optimism rates have increased and most businesses are excited and ready for the challenges coming over the next 12 months.