Small Businesses Can Recover in 2022, but May Need to Retool Strategy

US Census Bureau statistics state that entrepreneurship grew at a record pace in 2021, with more than 4.6 million applications for new businesses filed through October.

The key for small and medium-sized businesses in 2022 is to make sure their financing, their strategy, and their processes are in order. Opportunity waits for the brave… and the ready!

As of late spring 2021, 34% of America’s small businesses were closed due to COVID-19.(1) More than six months later, defying hopes of a long-awaited recovery, the US economy ended the year with a significantly worse-than-expected employment report, gaining only 199,000 jobs in December rather than the hundreds of thousands many experts predicted.(2) “It’s been a rough period,” says MLA Companies co-founder and CEO Seth Morgan, “but now there are multiple opportunities unfolding. The key for small and medium-sized businesses in 2022 is to make sure their financing, their strategy, and their processes are in order. Opportunity waits for the brave… and the ready!”

This spirit of optimism, notes Morgan, appears to be widely shared in the SMB community. According to statistics from the US Census Bureau, entrepreneurship grew at a record pace in 2021, with more than 4.6 million applications for new businesses filed through October. While banks pulled back somewhat on business loans amid COVID-19, it is widely expected that small-business loan approval rates will continue to rise as the economy and consumer spending rebound.(3)

Morgan emphasizes this is not to say that the world of small business will be able to revert to what it was before the pandemic. One major change has to do with employee expectations; in what has been called the Great Resignation, a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021, most of them in search of better pay and benefits.(4) Partly as a response, says Morgan, businesses are increasingly turning to fractional services for essential but expensive positions like Chief Financial Officer.(5) For routine (but also essential) administrative services, employers are turning both to outsource agencies and to AI-based digital applications.

The three primary ongoing impediments facing US business today, says Morgan, are inflation, supply chain issues and the Great Resignation. Each poses its own unique set of problems requiring solutions. For example, customers may forgive a supply-chain-necessitated price increase—if the accompanying level of service also rises. Some MLA clients, he notes, have had to abandon product lines because of supply chain issues. Some have been backed into a corner, forced to eliminate what seemed to be essential employee positions.

Whatever a company opts to do, says Morgan, it needs to do intentionally, methodically, and after assessing both its plans and its options. Find out what you need, he says. Focus on finance. Look into outsourcing. Trim the fat and make certain you know what you need monetarily and employee-wise.

“It’s a great time to look at the overall strategy,” says Morgan. “At the start of the pandemic it was, ‘Don’t look at the five-year plan. Develop a six-month plan.’ Perhaps 2022 is the year to retool. If you have advisors, consult with them on how to get started and how to maximize your opportunities.”

About MLA Companies
MLA Companies is not a CPA firm that also does consulting. They are consultants whose customized, value-driven approach offers processes and services that align to client’s needs and future growth. Founded in 2006 by CEO Seth Morgan, they are financial experts positioned to understand a client and their business – to protect, guide, and empower. Clients who invest in building relationships with MLA Companies know that their purpose will not change but their service offerings can grow as the business grows. At MLA Companies the discussion with a client is centered around purpose and growth first – then finance and services second. Visit https://mlacompanies.com/

1. Sheehy, Kelsey. “Small-Business Outlook for 2022.” NerdWallet, nerdwallet.com/article/small-business/small-business-outlook-2022.
2. “US Ends 2021 with Disappointing Job Growth Ahead of Omicron Surge.” NDTV.com, 7 Jan. 2022, ndtv.com/world-news/us-ends-2021-with-disappointing-job-growth-ahead-of-omicron-surge-2695843.
3. Ghosh, Iman. “34% Of America’s Small Businesses Are Still Closed Due to Covid-19. Here’s Why It Matters.” World Economic Forum, weforum.org/agenda/2021/05/america-united-states-covid-small-businesses-economics/.
4. Mearian, Lucas. “No End in Sight for the Great Resignation; Workers Keep Quitting for Better Pay, Benefits.” Computerworld, 6 Jan. 2022, computerworld.com/article/3646390/no-end-in-sight-for-the-great-resignation-workers-keep-quitting-for-better-pay-benefits.html.
5. “The Rise of the Fractional CFO.” FEI, financialexecutives.org/FEI-Daily/September-2021/The-Rise-of-the-Fractional-CFO.aspx#:~:text

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