small business

3 Challenges Small Businesses Could Face in 2020

small business challenges 2020

Family and friends are coming together to celebrate. Amazon employees are working overtime. And it’s seemingly impossible to go a day without hearing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You less than three times.

Yes, the holiday season is in full swing.

It’s a happy, hopeful time. The “peace on earth, goodwill to men” vibes are strong. Only a handful of days remain in 2019, and a brand-new decade is waiting in the wings, filled with unlimited potential.

But before you down another cup of holiday cheer or head out on your much-needed Christmas vacation, we need to talk about what happens after the Times Square ball drops. While it’s true that 2020 is rife with potential for small business owners, it won’t be without its challenges.

Here are three challenges that small business might face in the coming year:

Another Recession Might Be Looming

The last time the U.S. fell into recession was more than a decade ago, in 2008. The stock market tanked, unemployment soared, and if you didn’t personally lose your home, savings or both, you probably knew someone who did.

Business was bad for nearly everyone, but small businesses felt the crunch far more acutely than their bigger counterparts.

The only place we ever want to see the word “recession” is in a history book. But the reality is that there’s always a chance it could happen, and some of the business community thinks that’s a very real possibility in 2020. Specifically, more than half of American chief financial officers surveyed by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business say they’re expecting the country to be in a recession by the end of 2020.

None of these CFOs have a working crystal ball, of course. And indeed, many CFOs – as well as business owners and economists – are optimistic about the economy churning forward for another year. But the lesson here, perhaps, is to be prepared for a recession that doesn’t come, rather than to get blindsided by one that does.

Minimum Wage Remains a Battleground

While the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 for the past 10 years, workers are clamoring for more at the state level. At the start of 2020, Washington, D.C., will lead the nation with a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Washington state and California are right behind at $13.50 and $13.00, respectively.

In July 2019, the House of Representatives signed the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 for most workers by 2025. The Republican-controlled Senate shot it down, but the topic is far from dead.

While we firmly believe everyone is entitled to earn a living wage, suddenly being required to pay your valued employees far more than you budgeted for can end up stinging you. Keep an eye on the topic at a local, state and federal level to stay on top of any changes.

2020 Is an Election Year

Even in a sane political climate, election years are always full of uncertainty. When the parties are as divided as they have been, those question marks only multiply.

Tariffs, taxes and new regulations are always a huge concern for small business owners. Will you be able to ship your product overseas? Will you be able to import the materials you need from another country? Will increased taxes force you to cut corners or make reductions in your workforce?

You only have one vote in November, so it’s important to make it count. And the time to start is now. Research the candidates. Find out what they have to say. Explore how their plans for the future will affect your small business. Band together with other like-minded people and make sure your voice is heard!

Face 2020’s Challenges Head-On!

Before you channel your inner Chicken Little and set out to warn the King, it’s important to note that the sky is not falling. While 2020 will have its challenges, they are not insurmountable. The best defense truly is a good offense, and the more prepared you are for anything the new year throws your way, the sooner you’ll get through it!

For a small business owner, challenges are par for the course. But you don’t have to face them alone! Let Mischa Communications carry some of the weight. Let’s get the conversation started!