Recapping 2022 and Accelerating Into 2023

Financial well-being November 7, 2022 By First United Bank

We can all agree that 2022 was a year of rapid transformation. Each of us plowed our way through challenges that included: a shifting political and economic climate, the great resignation, quiet quitting, rising rates, and inflation.

Other trends significantly affected our businesses. Like ongoing supply chain issues, an elusive talent pool, and the ever-evolving competitive landscape. We gladly shouldered the challenges by adapting to the changes and adopting more purposeful and efficient practices that will continue to help every business evolve in the coming years.

Businesses’ challenges and the change they experienced over the past few years won’t slow down in 2023. To help our clients not only survive but thrive in the coming year, we are going to preview the trends that will shape the near future and provide some tips on how to meet those trends head-on.

Accelerated Technological Transformation

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, 5G… Major international competitors armed with these new technologies are invading our marketplace at accelerating speeds. And they use their investments in these technologies to capture vendors and customers. But this doesn’t spell the end for local businesses.

There are some steps local businesses can take to adopt technology while maintaining the local personal approach, which is one of our competitive advantages. Go from just personal to hyper-personal by using your customer data. Customers leave clues about what they want and what they are shopping for. You can review your website traffic to see the most frequently visited product pages. That alone offers a big clue into what your customers are looking for from your business.

The War for Talent

It seems like every competitor is after your best people. The competition for talent has put pressure on employers to provide attractive careers, the flexibility of hybrid work, and an enticing work environment and company culture.

After salary, employees prioritize culture, health, and well-being as the benefits that keep them loyal to an employer. Companies are responding and are increasing support in these areas each year. The most successful companies are establishing policies that promote well-being by:

  • Involving team members in human resource decisions.
  • Giving employees more control over their schedules when possible. Being able to leave occasionally early to pick up a child from school can make a big difference.
  • Providing opportunities for connection through team meals and open workspaces.

Cyber Security Threats

One thing that Eastern Europe has done is illuminate how foreign governments use cyber terrorism to wage battle. Just because the war is taking place across the pond doesn’t mean US businesses aren’t targets. Advisorsmith reports that 42% of US businesses suffered some form of cyberattack in 2022.

You can take steps to help your business avoid a cyberattack, secure your operating funds, and keep your business running. First United Bank’s head of Treasury Management, Ted Lane, recommends that “All businesses should complete a risk assessment and then continually update and enhance security procedures to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. It always saddens me to learn of business owners swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars when we have solutions that could have safeguarded their hard-earned funds.”

Increasing Inflation and Interest Rates

Increased interest rates and higher prices are here to stay for at least a while. While we don’t have much control over inflation and interest rates, we can manage our debt and reduce the impact of higher interest rates. Short-term interest rates rise as a response to inflation. Usually, credit cards are the first to see a jump in the rates charged for outstanding balances. You can reduce the pain of these interest rate hikes by reducing or refinancing these short-term debts.

You can read other First United Bank articles for more tips on managing these operating costs increases.

While 2023 may come with unknowns and unpredictability, it also comes with opportunities to learn, adapt, and grow your business. Having the right advisors on your side can help improve the odds of success.

By First United Bank