Business owners share biggest challenges in 2022 and what they did about it
From proactively eliminating “quiet quitting” to facing the pandemic confusion head-on, here are 17 answers to the question, “Business owners, what were some of your biggest challenges in 2022, and how did you overcome them?”
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- Proactively Eliminated “Quiet Quitting”
- Convinced the Market Why We’re Better
- Maintained Company Culture in a Hybrid Workplace
- Recruited and Hired Employees for In-Person Work
- Kept Contents Up-to-Date and Relatable
- Preserved My Work-Life Balance
- Hired Professionals and Invested in Improvement
- Beefed Up Cybersecurity Policies
- Filled an Interest Gap in the Industry
- Systemized Communication and Cash Management
- Dealt With a Decrease in Customer Demand
- Stayed Afloat Amidst a Sea of Competition
- Survived the FTX Fallout
- Finished a Software Product
- Adjusted to the New Standards of Employee Flexibility
- Secured Adequate Funding
- Faced Pandemic Confusion
Proactively Eliminated “Quiet Quitting”
Proactively acting on the so-called “quiet quitting” was our biggest challenge this year. Managing employees that would refuse to go above and beyond their regular work is something I didn’t want to experience in our company. I believe managers should support every employee, and having someone who performs with the bare minimum is a failure on my part as a leader.
As such, before it would occur in our company, I employed an initiative that allowed our team members to talk to us leaders outside our regular performance reviews. It was a more casual and laid-back way of checking on their potential workplace issues and working with them to address them before they got out of hand.
These one-on-one private talks with the workforce provided valuable insights into their employee needs for us to deliver the best possible work conditions for them.
Nunzio Ross, Owner & Head Director, Majesty Coffee
Convinced the Market Why We’re Better
The biggest challenge as a newer business in our industry is to convince the market why we’re better than existing brands.
We had to enter a market where a portion of it already has loyalty to rival companies, so we need to aggressively convince the target market what they’re missing out on if they don’t make the switch.
However, it is difficult to convince people we are better than an already established company. In this scenario, we needed to spend resources on creating content and advertisements to convince people.
That also means offering better deals to prospects, so they try our service. As a result, they become impressed and turn into loyalists that spread the good word for us to their peers.
Tristan Buenconsejo, Founder & Managing Director, TriBu LinkBuilding
Maintained Company Culture in a Hybrid Workplace
It was important for us to provide the same work experience to all employees, regardless of what location they were working from. One way that we did that was to focus on ensuring that company culture was a driving force behind the workplace experience.
To build and maintain our company culture in the hybrid workplace, it’s important that both remote and in-office employees feel equally valued. One way to ensure that employees feel valued in all working locations is to increase the frequency of manager-employee check-ins.
Leaders need to be more deliberate in reaching out to employees so that they don’t unintentionally give remote or in-office employees more attention than their counterparts.
Mark Pierce, CEO, Cloud Peak Law Group
Recruited and Hired Employees for In-Person Work
To overcome the challenge of hiring employees, we expanded how we recruited and sourced talent. We began searching within our local community besides posting on online job boards. We also used social media more extensively in our recruiting and hiring process.
In the community, we reached out to local colleges, business organizations, and networking groups. Colleges were one of the best sources of candidates, and we’ve continued to build those relationships to help us continue to find top talent next year as well.
Michael Nemeroff, CEO & Co-Founder, Rush Order Tees
Kept Content Up-to-Date and Relatable
Social media promotions have played a significant role in getting the exposure needed for our business. It has become an even more formidable force in the last few years, as people tuned in more to the online scene.
One challenge we have faced in 2022 is getting rid of old-fashioned content and trying to adapt to the recent trends to make ourselves more visible online. Most of the time, we stuck to the same strategy, but content must have a lasting impression, and one way to ensure that is to make it personal for your clients.
Small businesses will have an advantage—providing a degree of personal service that larger businesses cannot do. Small businesses will be more attentive and more connected, so take advantage of this and listen to the audience on social media. Encourage engagement in social media and even email.
Debbie Meeuws, Owner & CEO, Nature’s Arc Organic
Preserved My Work-Life Balance
My biggest challenge in 2022 was maintaining a work-life balance while working from home.
I developed blurred work-life boundaries, and this impacted my mental health and the quality of my work. Before COVID, I’d rarely bring work home as it was a sacred place where I could relax. But when I started working from home, I’d spent most of my time working, even when I was supposed to be with loved ones.
I overcame this problem by renting a coworking space and completing all my work away from home. This also boosted my productivity, since I didn’t have to deal with constant distractions.
Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money
Hired Professionals and Invested in Improvement
My biggest challenge this year was creating the right content for our website and bringing traffic through it. We used content such as guides, resources, and articles to drive brand awareness and client acquisition, and this wasn’t right.
This was partly because we were flying blind. We needed to see what content resulted in increased inquiries and sales and which didn’t. So, we hired a professional analytics analyst to better understand and determine the client journey and where they exited our funnel.
Upon reviewing our analytics, we concluded that we had spent way too many resources on creating content, which was practically pointless.
Now that we know better, we have changed the complete structure of our website, drastically improving our sales. The only regret I have is not starting sooner. The lesson I learned from this mistake is to hire professional help in areas we are not very proficient in and to invest in services that would improve our business.
Luke Smoothy, Director, Get It Made Ltd
Beefed Up Cybersecurity Policies
Our biggest challenge this year was keeping our data secure as we extended our hybrid and work-from-home setups.
Unfortunately, cyberattacks continue to rise, jumping 28% higher in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Keeping our client, employee, and business data safe is a duty we take very seriously—if we lose that trust with customers, we’ll lose our business.
We’re only choosing tools that employ top-of-the-line security systems, and we worked in 2022 to build an ongoing employee education program to help them understand and properly utilize two-factor authentication, password generators, phishing scam prevention, and other security measures we should take.
We’re walking into 2023 feeling comfortable with current and future security policies designed to keep us safe.
Brian Dechesare, CEO, Breaking Into Wall Street
Filled an Interest Gap in the Industry
Our biggest challenge this year was sparking an interest in an audience with zero knowledge of water filtration systems. We are in the business of water filtration, and it is a very niche industry. There is little interest across all ages, which often leads to low audience engagement.
Our brand’s aim is to help people achieve water security through information dissemination. To do this, a successful initial interaction is the most crucial part of enticing an audience to our services.
We overcame this hurdle by making our content easily digestible to every level of comprehension. Visual stimulation is key to audience retention, so we used photos combined with layperson’s terminology to make our content easily understandable by all.
Brian Campbell, Founder, WaterFilterGuru
Systemized Communication and Cash Management
In 2022, the various pressures that macroeconomic conditions placed on business owners were significant. Interest rate increases, upward inflation pressure, supply chain woes, and talent shortages/surpluses all affected how businesses managed and forecasted their cash needs.
The ripple effect of inflation has placed further importance on managing cash more carefully. I think about my client(s) whose raw material purchases have increased by 40% and reduced their margins tremendously. The danger placed on their vendors is the increased risk of slow or non-payment due to decreased cash flow resulting from sales generation.
In order to overcome the cash constraints placed on my business, I systematized communication and processes to ensure timely payment as well as leveraged tools to appropriately budget and manage cash needs.
Roman Villard, Founder, Full Send Finance
Dealt With a Decrease in Customer Demand
One of my biggest challenges in business during 2022 was dealing with a decrease in customer demand. With so many people facing financial instability, getting customers to invest in our products was challenging. I had to be innovative to overcome this issue.
After analyzing our target market and their needs, we invested in more effective marketing campaigns and offered discounts that would be attractive to our customers. By doing this, we increased customer interest and drove our business back up.
Overall, 2022 presented many challenges, but I always found ways to persevere and continue growing throughout the year. By remaining flexible and open-minded, I have overcome the hurdles that have come my way and continue striving for success.
Natalia Grajcar, Co-Founder, Natu.Care
Stayed Afloat Amidst a Sea of Competition
With the economy slowly rebounding, many businesses will look to get back on their feet and expand. This means that there will be more businesses vying for customers, which will make it difficult to stand out from the crowd.
The key to success in 2022 will be differentiating your business and finding a niche market. One way to overcome this challenge is to focus on customer service. In a world where businesses are constantly fighting for attention, outstanding customer service will be one of the best ways to set yourself apart.
Another way to differentiate your business is by offering unique products or services that your competitors don’t have. If you can meet a need that isn’t being met by other businesses, you’ll be in an influential position to succeed. Business owners also had to be flexible in their pricing and adapt their business models to the changing landscape.
Shay Berman, President, YourDigitalResource
Survived the FTX Fallout
As expected, investors and traders are worried about the impact the FTX collapse will have on the crypto market. Any time a $32 billion company goes under, people are going to have concerns.
I refer to the Dot-com bubble burst and how it changed how people invested in and perceived Web-only businesses. It made people more cautious, but it didn’t destroy people’s belief that the Internet was the wave of the future. It turned out to be an excellent development because people were smarter and more particular about where to invest their money.
FTX was a uniquely disastrous situation. The company used $10 billion of its own assets to bolster its flailing sister company, Alameda Research. As we roll forward, we will need to reassure customers and potential investors that crypto is still a safe space for their money.
More regulations are coming and better industry leaders will take the place of one who was reckless and deceitful while basking in the glow that comes with being a media darling.
John Sarson, CEO, American Crypto Academy
Finished a Software Product
As someone who is not a programmer, I was really reaching out for help in 2022 to build our software product. After many iterations and developers, we finally achieved a finished product, but it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I was working with people I had never worked with before and trusting them to deliver on their promises. This was a tremendous leap of faith and, fortunately, things worked out for us. I overcame these challenges by persevering, trusting in others, and never losing sight of the end goal.
Scott Krager, Founder, TubeSplit.com
Adjusted to the New Standards of Employee Flexibility
Probably one of the largest challenges we faced this past year was simply adjusting to the new standards of employee flexibility regarding accommodating remote and hybrid remote work arrangements.
We found it was essential to create a culture of trust and communication in order for this system to be successful. We implemented regular check-ins and weekly virtual meetings, both with individual employees and as a team.
In addition, we provided our team members with the resources they needed to work remotely, such as laptops or secure internet connections for those that we determined would make the best use of these new arrangements.
Ryan Delk, CEO, Primer
Secured Adequate Funding
Securing adequate funding was my biggest challenge in 2022. I had two choices: take out a loan or bring on investors. I took out a loan because I didn’t want to give up equity in the company. It took a lot of hustle and determination, but I could eventually get the loan approved.
The biggest lesson I learned is that it’s important to have a solid business plan and to be prepared to answer questions the lender may have. Having a strong understanding of your financial needs and goals is also critical.
If I could go back and do it again, I would leave myself more time to raise the capital. Securing funding is always a challenge, but it’s especially difficult when you’re trying to do it all on your own.
Derek Bruce, Sr. Director, Skills Training Group
Faced Pandemic Confusion
As we emerged from the pandemic, there continued to be a great deal of confusion about various factors related to COVID, so our biggest challenge was keeping our clients informed of the latest information.
With the various vaccines, restrictions, and changing guidelines, we found that many people in the local communities we served were unclear of what were the risks and how to best protect themselves.
Therefore, we focused on creating informative blogs and newsletters and continuously updated our website with the latest information to make certain that our clients had access to the latest information. In addition, we made our team members available to answer questions concerning vaccines and mandates.
By utilizing digital outreach methods and traditional lines of communication, we were able to effectively provide our clients with the help they needed to travel the uncharted waters created by the pandemic.
Justin Olson, Chief Marketing Officer, Fast Pace Health