There’s never been an easy time to be an entrepreneur, and when you add a recession, an ongoing global pandemic, and fundamental shifts in the culture of work as we know it, things can get complicated. Looking ahead to next year, entrepreneurs and company leaders can expect to face challenges related to talent acquisition and retention, while many companies that saw explosive growth during the pandemic (think Zoom and Peloton) have laid off workers with talks of tight budgets. And yet data still indicates that hiring and talent retention will continue to be an issue for companies. Good work is always hard to find. Managers can add the challenge of managing remote teams in an era of hybrid work alongside an ever-present supply chain uncertainty and potential business recession.
In terms of the recession, many experts say we can’t simply apply our lessons learned from 2008, since this time is much different. For one, the last recession began to take effect in the financial system and housing, and it was easier to track. The current economic environment is more complex, factoring in things like a global health crisis. In fact, the possibility of a recession is not even universally recognized. In most analysts’ forecasts, the potential for a late-2022 or early-2023 recession is not yet fully factored into earnings estimates and share prices.
The good news? The current US economy has strengths that weren’t relevant in previous recessions, including labor markets, the health of the financial system, the energy market, and technology. The wages of consumers have risen, and in general, they have less debt than they did in 2008. And in terms of resources for your business to ride the waves of the recession and the challenges it brings, Align’s purpose as software is to put leaders in a position to strategically think about their business. While entrepreneurs are facing plenty of challenges, this moment also presents big opportunities to improve the way we work, manage happier teams, build resilience, and create intentional strategies that foster sustainable growth even while facing uncertain conditions. Ahead, the trends around entrepreneurship to watch for in 2023 and how Align can support your business’ growth.
1) Long-term Disruption Planning
One of the biggest lessons of the last few years in the business world is the importance of long-term disruption planning. At the beginning of COVID, we talked to business coach Peter Boolkah about how business leaders can avoid costly cashflow mistakes during a crisis. A recession is looming, and it will undoubtedly change many things about the way we do business–thus managing cash flow and planning ahead for economic changes is more critical than ever. For more ideas and insight on how to plan for long-term disruption, check out our most recent webinar Making Your Business Recession Resistant: The Tools You Need to Thrive in Any Recession featuring Wade Wyant.
2) Mobile Optimization
We can hardly call mobile optimization a trend anymore, since it’s been steadily increasing for years and has no sign of stopping. That said, mobile optimization will continue to be incredibly important for businesses that want to increase retention, accessibility, and improve conversion rates. 79% of smartphone users worldwide used their phone to make purchases in 2021, and this number is increasing. Like any good team management software, Align acts as a single source of truth that connects all team members no matter where they are in the world, and Align takes it a step further with its mobile app.
3) Rise of Independent Contractors
The gig economy is growing, and more workers are opting out of full-time employment at companies in favor of independent work. In fact, 59 million Americans freelance — that’s 36% of the total American workforce. The gig economy is expanding 3x faster than the total US workforce as workers are attracted to a working model that offers greater flexibility and control over their own schedules. And while the gig economy can be intimidating for companies not used to working with independent contractors, there are several notable benefits. For one, your company can save money since employers don’t need to offer benefits like traditional roles. You’re also able to hire contractors in different geographic locations, thus expanding your potential talent pool significantly, as long as your company has systems in place to easily manage people remotely.
4) Hybrid Work Continues
Tired of hearing about remote work? There is no sign that trend will dwindle any time soon, and this shift reflects one of the largest transformations in work culture we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Study after study shows that Americans are not only embracing flexible work, but they want more of it, and they want workplaces to be on board. When offered, almost everyone takes the opportunity to work flexibly, and job seekers (especially younger professionals) highly value autonomy over where and when they work. Thankfully, there are many benefits of hybrid work. A flexible workplace can cut down on costs for businesses significantly, as you may not need the large office space and supplies you once did. Although managing a remote team can be a challenge, Align makes it easy to get the team on the same page.
5) Optimization of Automation
Many businesses will inevitably have to make cuts when the recession hits, and one way to make up for narrower budgets is by taking advantage of new technology and automating your company to be as efficient as possible. Automations and integrations make life easier as you spend less time typing in manual information and more time focused on what is always up-to-date in front of you.
The Align software provides integrations with Salesforce, Zapier, Slack, and other applications to facilitate easier aggregation of data and allow users to track all metrics in the same place.
External factors like the recession will impact small and mid-sized businesses the most. Fortunately, Align can help you stay ahead of the curve and plan for 2023, no matter what comes. Align enables companies to stay on track by giving them the necessary framework to lay down a solid plan for the company and keep that plan on track throughout the entire year. The evidence shows that investing in intentional planning and solid business fundamentals means that any business can thrive in uncertain times.
To learn how Align can help you stay on top of the most timely trends, schedule your demo today!