Hempstead Small Business Outlook 2022

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the impacts on Texas businesses were on par with the national average. In 2021, the small business outlook began looking up and it looks like that trend will continue to track into 2022. In Hempstead, Texas — and other communities like ours — small businesses are on the rebound. Here are some of the contributing factors behind small business’ ability to make big comebacks.

Digital Business Trends
Many businesses expanded into the online world during the pandemic. Whether by carrying out virtual consultations and meetings over Zoom or learning how to put together a digital marketing plan and selling products and services online, small businesses had to be nimble and learn how to enter the digital marketplace. Their smaller stature and lack of red tape were likely contributing factors. Experts anticipate this digital trend will continue into (and past) 2022 as businesses upgrade their websites, launch online shopping experiences and expand their online presence and digital marketing efforts. If you haven’t already, consider sitting down to determine how you might elevate your customers’ online experiences, or how digital payments, tools and the like might help your business grow and thrive.

Supply Chain Issues
Most small businesses will never be completely digital, and about 45% of small businesses were reporting supply chain delays in October 2021. That number could remain steady into 2022 as global supply and shipping issues create bottlenecks for products in the U.S. and around the world. Hempstead businesses are positioned ideally near one of the top ports and transportation hubs in the country, not to mention our town’s easy access to rail transport. Even so, business owners should plan ahead and be prepared for delays when ordering from suppliers. Communicate with customers about longer wait times and look for alternative suppliers to get products delivered sooner when (and if) possible.

Worker Shortages
Anyone who’s tried to hire employees since the pandemic started has probably experienced a lower-than-usual applicant pool. Don’t worry, it’s been the case across many industries. While small businesses should continue looking to fill such roles, now is an ideal opportunity to get a bit creative. Look to the gig economy, or freelancers, to get help when full-time positions are hard to fill. The practice of hiring freelancers is on the rise in many industries. Why? Because it’s a cost-effective and relatively easy way to get qualified help without the investment of onboarding, training and potentially losing full-time staff in a competitive job market. Working with freelancers gives small businesses the flexibility to grow or shrink as circumstances change.

Hempstead is grounded in opportunity, especially for small businesses. And with a small business outlook looking stronger all the time, it’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs everywhere. As you’re making business plans for 2022, consider the ways the HCCA can help you connect with other business leaders and opportunities in our community. Find out more today!

Image Credit: Hemphill Design

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