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2023 Outlook for Businesses

April 25, 2023

Businesses continue to struggle with inflation, supply chain concerns, and talent shortages in 2023. How can businesses make the most of these challenges? What opportunities are on the horizon?

Business leaders continue to cite talent issues, inflation and supply chain concerns as top challenges across all industries. How are employers coping? We shed light on 5 challenges/opportunities for businesses here.

1. Staffing and retaining talent- Resignations and turnover have increased rapidly these last few years. This has forced many businesses to extend customer service wait times, shorten hours of operation and change or reduce product offerings due to staff shortages. This has resulted in significant challenges maintaining a positive company culture and has increased the time and cost of onboarding and training new employees.

How are employers coping? To retain talent, many employers have benefited from:

  • Prioritizing work/life balance- Hybrid and remote jobs are easier to fill in today’s working world, though this is challenging in certain sectors including healthcare and manufacturing which require more hands-on work. Also, remote staffing poses challenges for company culture.
  • Consistently communicating with employees
  • Offering flexible work arrangements
  • Hiring more contract workers during busier seasons
  • Providing learning and development, leadership training and management programs

2. Cybersecurity- Cybercrime is on the rise and continues to plague organizations across the world. In 2022 alone, there were over 1,800 reported data breaches, which of course does not factor the many unreported breaches. Much of these breaches were due to human error, an issue businesses continue to wrestle with.

How are businesses coping?

  • Increased technology budgets earmarked for cyber security
  • Careful attention when transferring sensitive data to the cloud
  • Increased user awareness training- Breaches caused by employees are often the result of innocent mistakes rather than malicious attempts. The best way to address mistakes is by being proactive. Train your employees with examples of what to do and what not to do. This includes education, testing and accountability. This involves making sure your employees are well read on the mechanisms of spam, phishing and malware through simulated phishing attacks and security awareness training.
  • Mobile device protection- More and more cyber-attacks are coming through smartphones. With so many connected devices, employers will want to train employees to make sure they’re fully versed on acceptable use procedures—there are opportunities to prevent access to sensitive information on smartphones.

3. Inflation and recession- Companies have experienced record inflation the last several months, leading to higher materials, supplies, energy and shipping costs. A significant majority (93%) of CFOs expect increased costs to persist through 2023, according to the Enterprise Financial Decision-Makers Outlook annual survey of over 650 finance executives published by financial software provider OneStream and Hanover Research.

How are businesses coping?

  • Increasing prices,
  • Slowing (or freezing) hiring, where possible
  • Cutting operational costs and focusing on efficiency
  • Renegotiating contracts with suppliers

4. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)- More and more businesses are exploring Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. Certain consumers want to use their dollars to invest in companies that value sustainability and social progressiveness. It’s wise for leaders to consider having an ESG process strategy in place in 2023 and beyond. Check out our blog, 5 Key Benefits of ESG Initiatives for more information about the benefits of ESG.

5. Supply chain- Companies that adopt “agile” supply chain practices can reduce their risks and gain a competitive advantage through their ability to promptly respond to customers. COVID-19 caused quite a severe supply chain disruption, forcing businesses to address issues including supply shortages, inventory placement challenges, demand drops and surges, and reduced productivity.

As businesses continue to deal with these issues, leaders will want to consider implementing these strategies:

  • Prioritizing employee safety: Support new ways of working to keep your workforce healthy, safe, and productive
  • Taking advantage of technology to streamline operations
  • Update risk management strategies- Once you’ve identified the risks, policies and internal control procedures should be developed in order to mitigate them. Existing controls might need to be updated according to feedback from your staff, and new controls may need to be put in place to address other areas of risk that you’ve identified
  • Run supply chain simulations- This will help you gain insight on when excesses and shortages are most likely to happen

Need help addressing these challenges and opportunities in your business? Contact us.

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