General Business

On the Up & Up: Inflation 2022

Despite mandates finally beginning to lift and economic recovery gaining steam, companies are faced with the highest inflation rates our country has seen since 1982. Soaring energy costs, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions all paired with increasing demand have sent the annual inflation rate to 7.9%. While the Federal Reserve expects things to cool down in the second half of the year, that does not help with the here and now for business owners trying to understand the impact inflation will have on their companies.

More than understanding, businesses need to be proactive. They need to develop and implement strategies to protect themselves during yet another “unprecedented time.” Here are a few suggested strategies:

Evaluate Revenue Streams – They say the best defense is a good offense. Bringing in more business is the best way to offset costs. Focus on productivity and growth. Look at what differentiates you from the competition and lean into that product or service. Can you improve what you offer through bundling products or investing in your customer experience? Can you vertically integrate your services to provide a breadth of services your customers need?

Reduce CostsCompanies need to cut costs while simultaneously reinvesting in programs that allow stronger purchasing and pricing capabilities. They need cost cutting programs that allow them to access the most revenue possible. Unpack what you’re spending money on, evaluate if you can find better spending practices, and if all else fails: reduce consumption. Prioritize what you can spend money on and eliminate costs where you can.

Streamline Back-Office ProcessesReset the way your work is done. Take some time to analyze how activities are being performed. Eliminate unnecessary work and when you can, automate. Technologies exist that free up workers time and make them much more effective at creating value. Are you using antiquated technology? Do you have a system that automatically syncs the different parts of your business? Streamlining these areas can boost productivity in others.

While it’s necessary to manage the effects of inflation, be careful about the steps you take. The easiest thing to say is “cut costs,” but it’s important to not burn your business in the process. Check with your current service providers to see if they have programs that can help you in these areas. Use technology to bring your costs down. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. No matter what industry you are in, being proactive in such a disruptive environment is key to a resilient business.

About the Author: Jane Johnston is an award-winning marketing & communications executive and NJ native. After nearly a decadein Washington, DC, working on Capitol Hill and in the nonprofit sector, she returned to her home state to lead the marketing team at Priority Payments Local, the Central NJ-based payment processor & financial technology company.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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