To describe 2021 as a rollercoaster for businesses would be a colossal understatement. It may seem challenging to believe, but we are within a hair’s breadth of the new year. From lockdowns to total restrictions lifting, from job openings to supply shortages; there has been no end to the ups and downs that we have witnessed over the last twelve months. If you are in the planning stages of launching a new business in 2022, you will have been watching with bated breath; to see if the positive signs of a brighter year ahead would continue to develop. Now, on the verge of the new year, you want to make sure that you take every step possible to ensure the best chance of success for your new company.
6 Areas You Can’t Afford To Neglect When Planning For Launching A New Business In 2022
To some extent, launching a new business is always going to be a gamble. You are gambling on your idea, expertise, and ability; to win people over to find an audience for what you have to offer. You are betting on yourself. But there is no reason why you should expose yourself to any more risk than is strictly necessary. Being an entrepreneur is having the mindset to keep looking for the next step, the next big swing to take; but you also need to know how to keep everything running smoothly.
The marketplace is still in a particularly uncertain state, and there will be several challenges coming your way in the next twelve months. Here are just a few of the some issues you could be facing; and how you can best protect yourself against them.
- Work On Your Website Now
Now, there are a lot of business proprietors out there who still see their web presence as something an afterthought; something that can be worked on when everything else is finished. When you are launching a new business, it will draw your attention in a million different directions at once. When you are in such a high-stress position; you will inevitably have to make some tough decisions about what comes where on your to-do list. We are here to show you that creating an eye-catching and effective website needs to be near the top.
The fact is that if your website is rushed, it is going to feel rushed. Consumer habits have changed a lot over the course of the pandemic, and people are not going to have the patience to find their way through a poorly constructed homepage. They are also not going to comb through reams and reams of search results. If you want to get off to the best possible start; you need to know that your website is working for you from the get-go.
There are a few basic steps that you need to keep in mind. The first is that the look and feel of your website should reflect the brand identity you want to convey. You also need to think about your content. You should also think about installing an AI chatbot to keep people on your page after clicking through. Program it with a generic greeting and make sure that you have covered any basic questions that a visitor may ask. Studies have shown that AI chatbots improve retention.
Most business owners are familiar with SEO as a concept, but they may not be as up-to-date with applying it. You need to make sure that you are updating your website regularly with expertly written and engaging content. It is not enough to fill a few blogs with keywords and assume that Google will do the work for you. Remember that Google factors in user experience and spam into its search rankings. Keep up to date with the latest updates and look for ways that you can use different media. Would video be a better way to break down your company’s services, for example?
- Do Not Lose Sight Of Your Finances
There are many different kinds of an entrepreneur. Some are the blue-sky thinkers; the people who have the big ideas and the ability to convince investors of their brilliance. Others are the people with the gift of knowing exactly how they can squeeze the most out of every penny. Of course, what you want to be is a combination of the two; but you will need support to ensure financial security in such an uncertain landscape.
For example, if your business provides goods or services to other companies, you will naturally be sending out invoices regularly. Now, it is no secret that many companies have found themselves in serious financial difficulties over the last two years; so what happens if there is an unexpected delay in their payment? No one wants to find themselves in the position of putting their own company at risk; because of someone else’s slow payments, which is where invoice finance comes in.
Invoice finance is a concept that is used to describe a range of different invoice funding options. Capalona can offer you a free invoice quote, and they have a detailed breakdown of the kind of pay-out you could be looking at and the different options you can choose from. With this, you can use the money waiting to be paid to you to ensure that you get paid quickly with minimal fuss. Whether you are looking for business insurance or you need a start-up business loan; Capalona is set up to help businesses find the finance they need to get up and to run.
- Security Is Going To Be A Real Concern
A few years ago, many of us would have taken the idea of cybersecurity moderately seriously at best. We would have assumed that the people who needed to be concerned with such matters would be governments; or massive corporations, the kind of entities dealing with sensitive information or vast sums of money. Following the last two years, we have all learned to take cybersecurity very seriously indeed.
Cybercrime skyrocketed during the pandemic as the crooks aimed at companies and institutions of all sizes in every industry. In November, it was reported that cybercrime was at a record high. Governments worldwide are talking about how they can continue to address the problem; but what you need to know is that experts believe that there is no sign that cybercrime and ransomware attacks will slow down any time soon. You need to make sure that you have educated yourself about the range of threats out there; and the measures you can take to protect yourself before you launching a new business in 2022.
It is well worth investing time and money in talking to an IT professional about the areas where you could be at risk; (cloud software, for example, if your business will be operating remotely) and what you need to start doing. You should also ensure that your employees are up to speed on the steps they can take; such as using password generators and two-factor authentication on any work-related accounts. This problem has grown far beyond knowing that you should not click any links in suspicious-looking emails.
- Get Ahead Of Supply Shortage Issues
You do not have to own your own business knowing that supply shortages are hitting the UK hard right now and have been for the past several months. The one-two punch of Brexit and the pandemic has caused severe problems for UK businesses regarding supplies. The early warning signs were seen when the hospitality industry reported severe trouble; trying to fill roles traditionally taken by workers from the EU. The construction industry reported that it was struggling to bring in enough materials. We have seen empty shelves in supermarkets and warnings that there are going to be shortages at Christmas. Finally, no one will forget the furor about the petrol shortages at the tanks in a hurry.
The main problem behind most of this seems to be the fact that there is a massive shortage of HGV drivers out there. Many of these drivers came from the EU, and whether it’s the pandemic, Brexit, or both; they are not going to be coming back any time soon. If you are launching a new business in 2022, you must be aware that supply shortage issues could arise and severely impact you. You may not be ready to prevent these problems from occurring; but you may be able to get ahead of them.
You should open up clear lines of communication with any of your suppliers as soon as possible; to make sure that you are made aware of any potential issues as quickly as possible. Run through scenarios where suppliers may longer be able to deliver and brainstorm solutions. It is never a natural feeling to be reliant on someone else for your business’ success; so if you can come up with several alternatives early on, you may sleep a lot better.
- Be An Employee-Friendly Place To Work
When launching a new business, inspiring people to get on board is all part of the job. But when it comes to your employees, you will need to offer more than the excitement of working somewhere new and promising. You know that what you have is unique, and you need to show other people why that is true. Several issues have arisen in the last two years that will preoccupy everyone who comes in to interview for a position, so you need to start thinking about them now.
Let’s start with a big one: where are you going to want people to work? The return to the office has been one of the most contested talking points since people began working from home back in March 2020; and few of us could have predicted that we would still be having this hearing this close to 2022. The Prime Minister has said that he believes working in offices will be the norm once again, but right now, it certainly seems as though many people would much rather continue to work remotely. For new businesses, remote working is something to consider seriously. It will save you the hardly insignificant costs of paying for office space, it will allow greater flexibility in working hours; and it means that you can scour the country and beyond for the best employees out there without worrying about whether they are willing to relocate.
Another severe factor to consider when it comes to employee satisfaction is mental health. The statistics surrounding burnout at work have been truly staggering, and we are all a lot more conscious of the mental health challenges that we have all been facing. If you want to show prospective employees that you take their well-being seriously; you should consider what mental health support you can provide, such as an unlimited holiday. Remember that there have been reports about what has been referred to as the great walkout. The pandemic made many people reconsider their priorities; so any steps you can take towards helping your employees is a significant investment for your future.
- Stay Flexible
Finally, before launching a new business in 2022, here is something that every business owner had to learn during the pandemic; whether they liked it or not. We have all been taught a severe lesson about how we will never be able to predict every challenge coming our way. What we can do is identify the ones that we know about; take sensible steps to protect ourselves from them, and create as much of a cushion as we can to help us with everything else. Whether it’s a new variant, a new Brexit wrinkle, or the ever-worsening impact of climate change; there will regularly be something to test our resilience and resolve. Flexibility could be the difference between your business thriving or folding.
Also Check: 5 Tips For Getting Started With eCommerce