My 2022 Small Business Predictions : Cloudy With Patches of Sunshine

I was spot on with my predictions for 2021.

The year turned out to be more similar to 2020 then I would have liked, but with some important changes. Small businesses were able to get back to work with some limitations in supply and staffing. While the supply chain problems and inflation were predictable, I was totally surprised by staffing issues especially when unemployment in 2020 had reached 20%.

This is what I had predicted for 2021:

  • COVID- 19 spikes state to state will happen until the summer. Not much will change in how business is done until then.

I was correct.  The merry-go-round of COVID infections went from state to state, especially with the unvaccinated. Although no states issued lock downs, masks came off and then they went on again as vaccinations lagged and as a result, new variants appeared.

  • COVID- 19 vaccine distribution will be slow and uneven state to state, but by the middle of the summer, anyone that wants a vaccine will be able to get it. By September, over 50% of the United States will be vaccinated. This will change consumer behavior finally in the fall of 2021.

I was correct. Vaccinated consumers (and those that did not care) had more confidence getting back into stores, restaurants, and live events.

  • With the economy in recovery, the stock market will continue to rise 10% in 2021 as the Fed keeps interest rates near zero percent.

I was partially correct. The stock market was up 17% and the Fed did not touch interest rates.

  • The value of residential real estate will rise outside of major cities as mortgage rates remain historically low.

I was correct. With mortgages at sub 3%, residential real estate rose about 25% (depending on the part of the country). Here in Phoenix, it increased by 32%.

  • There will be no going back to “normal “ for in person and traditional contact businesses like restaurants and bowling centers. They will continue to need to find ways to reimagine their companies through most of 2021.

I was partially correct. In 2021, many of these businesses came back requiring proof of vaccination. Others, due to pandemic fatigue, just started to operate under the pre-COVID conditions and their consumers took a risk.

  • Trade shows will be very small with many restrictions in most states starting the summer of 2021. In the Fall, vaccinated people will begin to attend.

I was correct. Trade shows started in the fall of 2021 with varying requirements (from being vaccinated to none at all).

  • Most meetings will still be on Zoom or another video conferencing tool.

I was correct. Even traditional phone calls are still on Zoom.

  • Most employers will not have their team back to the office on a full time basis this year. Offices will begin to open in the fall, but it will be voluntary.

I was correct. The days are gone of having people back in the office 5 days a week.

Here are my predictions for 2022.

  1. The COVID pandemic will continue. In March of 2020, I said the pandemic would last 3 years and unfortunately, vaccine reluctance will not short circuit this event. We are now in year 3 and in 2022, the U.S. will reach over one million deaths. Annual boosters will continue (can you say 4X?) for this next year.
  2. Inflation will continue, but at a slower 4% rate with the Fed increasing interest rates. This means you need to raise prices now.
  3. The stock market will rise by 7%.
  4. Supply chain issues will continue into the new year. The mess in global transportation especially with new variants will not be resolved.
  5. Staffing shortages will still plague small business. Employees will demand a work-life balance. The HR role in every company will become more important in attracting and retaining team members. Between the supply chain shortages, inflation and people, it will cost more to run your company.  Focus on these solutions early in the year.

Overall, keep listening to what your customer wants. It will change again. The last two years have shown the resilience of small business owners and in 2022, we will do it again!

The three things you need to focus on for 2022: serving your staff to improve retention, diversifying your supply chain and raising your prices.

What do you predict for 2022? Are you ready?

By | December 26th, 2021|Small Business|0 Comments

About the Author:

Barry Moltz has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 25 years. He is a small business expert that helps companies get unstuck. Barry is a bestselling author, in-demand keynote speaker, and dynamic radio talk show host.

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