The Midatlantic Business Marketplace In 2022 (Part 2)
Our latest webinar explores upcoming trends in the Midatlantic business market in 2022.
Discover what you should expect in this discussion, featuring Advantage’s Mike Shelah, Leonardo McClarty, President & CEO of The Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Allie Williams, President & CEO of The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, and Mike McMullin, President of The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce:
Staffing Will Continue To Be A Challenge
The panelists on this installment began the discussion by talking about the difficulty businesses are facing with staffing. A widespread effect of the pandemic has been the rapid loss of experienced, older members of the business world.
When faced with the prospect of switching to remote work, many professionals that were just a few years away from retirement decided to end their careers early. This has led to a dearth of experience in the business world.
This is hitting business owners and managers hard. They’re trying to both attract the right new talent, and keep their experienced older staffers on for as long as possible. It’s all in an effort to create a sustainable workforce—one in which you’re not losing your experienced members faster than they can train and help those coming in with no experience.
Vaccine Mandates Are Complicated And Challenging
Furthermore, the panel noted that, regardless of your personal views on the matter, vaccine mandates are complicating operations as well. Mandates for government contract employees to be vaccinated create a lot of extra work for business owners in terms of compliance.
These types of initiatives have to be faced head-on no matter what. Fortunately, Chambers of Commerce, like those represented by this webinar’s guests, are doing their best to provide education resources and compliance support for business owners. That’s why you should consider getting involved…
Chambers Provide Support, Resources And Visibility
If you’ve dragged your feet on joining your local Chamber up to this point, it’s time for you to reconsider your position. Chambers of Commerce provide a range of support services and additional benefits to businesses that you should be taking advantage of:
- Business Market Visibility: Why plan and host your own events when you can simply get involved with those that your Chamber is putting on? You can benefit from their economy of scale; rather than investing the time and resources needed to put on an event at which you can promote your business and network, you can attend breakfasts, virtual lunch hours, after-work mixers, and other get-togethers facilitated by the Chamber.
- Legislative Advocacy: Your Chamber has your best interests at heart. Whether it’s the nitty-gritty details of a vaccine mandate or another restriction resulting from the pandemic, Chambers are working to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of, or asked too much of. Why fight on your own when you can join a group of local businesses that understand what you’re going through?
- Marketing Benefits: Don’t forget—simply by joining a Chamber, your business’ name, phone number, and URL are posted to their website. This is what’s known as a “backlink” in SEO circles, and will help to boost your presence in Google searches.
The bottom line is that Chambers of Commerce are phenomenal business communities that offer a range of strategic and tactical benefits, as well as camaraderie and support. The panelists noted how resilient they have seen their Chamber members become over the course of the pandemic, overcoming challenges and helping one another along the way.
Despite what you may assume, many of these Chambers have seen an increase in membership over the course of the pandemic. Other businesses are seeing the good it can do—what about you?
Business Development Best Practices In 2022
Near the end of the webinar, the panelists talked through a few key tips for business owners to consider in the coming year. In light of the pandemic and its many effects on the business world, keep the following in mind:
- As always, set and exceed expectations where possible. Deliver that product, make that phone call, or follow up sooner than you said you would.
- Focus on proactive communication. In the event that you won’t meet a deadline or uphold an expectation you set, let the affected person know. The sooner you do so, the better—it’s human nature to avoid admitting these types of shortcomings, which makes it all the more refreshing when you own up and establish expectations with your key business contacts.
- Understand that we’re all in the same boat. The pandemic affected everyone, and so, anytime you encounter any issues related to staffing, supply chains, or another pandemic problem, be honest about it because the other person likely understands what you’re going through. The fact is that everyone is seeking certainty right now. The more you can provide to your staff, your clients, and your business contacts, the better.
Stay Tuned For The Next Installment
Part 3 of our 2022 business trends series will air soon—make sure to catch it when it does! If you have any questions, get in touch with the Advantage Industries team.