Opinion: Five areas of opportunity for businesses for the rest of 2022

As we move through the second half of 2022, there are numerous areas of opportunity for businesses that — despite some ongoing challenges — could prove beneficial in the short and long term. Whether a business plans to buy, sell, expand, contract or has a need to raise capital, there are a number of key considerations they may want to keep front of mind. Let’s take a look at five of them. 

Rising interest rates

This is an issue on the minds of most business owners. Businesses need to focus on managing working capital and keeping their company’s balance sheet strong. Extending maturities to remove near-term financing pressures and hedging some floating rate exposure through swaps or a term facility can be wise moves.

The “R” word

Even if a recession may be on the horizon, there are still opportunities here. Ranking your most critical initiatives can help identify where to pare without jeopardizing essential functions. Now is a good time to reach out to lenders proactively, brief them on steps being taken, and create a path for moving forward. Lenders will appreciate this, and the goodwill could lay a beneficial foundation should you need to approach them for borrowing waivers or amendments — if and when the recession does begin to take hold.

Inflation

This has been the key issue for several months now, and even with the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, inflation may remain a worrisome long-term issue. Operating in a rising cost environment puts a premium on careful product pricing, controlling costs through deliberate purchasing, and managing working capital. This includes keeping accounts receivables as low as possible. If finance, human resources, purchasing, marketing, and other key functions can all respond in a coordinated way to inflation’s challenges, success is much more possible.

Employee engagement

Sound employee engagement presents another key business opportunity. This is why it’s a good idea to convey to your employees how rising interest rates, inflation, or a recession impact your business. Talk to them and listen to them. Communicate your strategy for getting through tough times and let them know that they matter and have a role to play. This also is the right time to solicit employees’ suggestions for realizing economies and courting customers.

Pursue talent

This is an excellent time to pursue strategic talent acquisition. This is also a time where younger talent seeks personal and professional development to further their careers, so why not look now to see who is available and who could add value by coming on board?

Rather than looking at these areas in a negative light, businesses can indeed see them as opportunities for growth and success. Now is the time to start thinking strategically about enhancing the long-term value of the business you have worked so hard to create.

Jason Correia is a principal at CLA in West Hartford. Craig Arends is the managing principal of CLA's private equity practice.