Every year comes with its ups and downs. Some of these are surprising. Others you can see from a mile away.
As we prepare to head into a new year, let’s consider some of the biggest lessons we learned in 2022 and how they can help us prepare for the future.
1. You Can’t Undervalue the Importance of Supply Chains
Supply chains are the quiet-yet-critical lifelines that operate in the background of everyone’s lives. From filling up at the gas tank to building a home to buying a candy bar, everything that we do is dependent on supply chains to some degree or another.
The pandemic understandably threw supply chains into disarray. However, two years out, we’re still waiting for things to return to normal. Some issues, like the tanker backlogs off the west coast, have eased — but even that may not be a good thing. It could imply a severe reduction in the demand for imported goods due to a bad economy (more on that further down).
The lesson here? Businesses can’t depend on a flawless supply chain. Instead, they must develop robust networks and creative teams to keep goods on the shelf, even when things slow down.
2. Predictive Analytics Can Only Get You So Far
It’s easy to point to the pandemic as the poster child for the unpredictable. But let’s be real for a second here. Even since that event, anticipating the future has been anything but easy. We haven’t had the “return to normalcy” that many hoped for.
Instead, one curveball after another (several of which made it onto this list) has continued to leave businesses scrambling to react. We live in a data-driven age. And there’s certainly value in using things like forecasting and predictive analytics to prepare for what’s to come.
However, if 2022 has taught us anything, it’s that business leaders shouldn’t over-commit to certain strategies and plans, especially if they require things outside of their control to go a certain way. Instead, it’s important to create robust and resilient plans that can adapt to change.
3. Inflation and War Seriously Impact the Economy
Two of the biggest unexpected storylines of 2022 revolved around inflation and war. For the latter, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine less than two months into the year immediately had a ripple effect on the world economy. From grain to gasoline to semiconductors, the fighting disrupted the flow of several key resources.
Inflation also reared its ugly head as the year progressed. The runaway degradation of the dollar led to reduced consumer spending and business budget slashing everywhere.
The takeaway, in this case, is once again flexibility. If companies want to build on their success, they must remain ready to adjust to whatever unexpected events take place.
Resisting the Urge to Predict 2023
It’s always tempting to hope that the worst is behind us. But the truth is, there is always an ongoing cycle of ups and downs in the business landscape.
At first glance, 2023 looks like it could be a rough ride. Supply chains could continue to remain off-kilter due to things like railroad strikes and China’s zero-covid policy. War continues to ravage Ukraine. A recession may even be in the cards.
And yet, at the end of the day, these ebbs and flows don’t have to dictate whether or not your business succeeds in the months ahead. What really matters is the mentality and the partnerships that you take into the new year.
Use the takeaways listed above to fuel a resilient mindset ready to make the most of any situation. As far as partners are concerned, make sure you’re connected with a trusted and experienced agency like TruLife Distribution. This ensures that you can take advantage of every opportunity that arises to build your brand, no matter what challenges may lie ahead.