2021 saw a record number of new business formations amidst the pandemic. DesignRush reached out to business consultants to discover the biggest challenges for startups in 2022 and how to navigate them.

MIAMI - MARCH 23, 2022

The Census Bureau reported almost 5.4 million applications for new business formations in 2021 — a 53% increase from 2019. Interestingly, sectors highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have seen the most gains in new applications. But considering the great competition, it is hard to tell how many of these startups will turn into real money-making ventures.

DesignRush, a B2B marketplace connecting businesses with agencies, leveraged its 13,000-agencies-strong network for quick insights – or “QuickSights” – on the biggest challenges for startups in 2022 and how to navigate them.


According to Catherine Mattice, SHRM-SCP, founder and CEO at Civility Partners, The Great Resignation resulted in startups struggling to hire great talent, especially if they can’t afford to offer competitive salaries. Mattice believes that the best way to overcome this challenge is to promote a positive working culture during the hiring process.

“The Great Resignation leaves startups with trouble hiring great talent if they can’t afford to keep up with recent salary increases,” said Mattice. “Research shows [that] people want a great culture over money any day of the week. Therefore, [startups can] overcome this [challenge] with a great culture and [highlight] it as part of [their] recruitment efforts.”

Andy Najjar, chief operating officer at FutureSolve, also sees hiring talent as one of the biggest challenges. Najjar suggests using AI for recruitment to make the talent acquisition process smoother, at the very least.

“Today, Artificial Intelligence talent sourcing allows companies to find, [...] approach and access talent even [while] creating a proactive hiring strategy,” said Najjar.


In the opinion of Uyen Nguyen, chief executive officer at Kotwel, the stakes for startups are high and the competition is huge in 2022. Nguyen also suggests using AI to overcome the challenge and gain market advantage.

"The stakes are high for startups in 2022, as competitors continue to fight over the same market share,” said Nguyen. “This leads to a need for startups to distinguish themselves from others: by getting ahead of the competition in the areas of technology and innovation such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and [Augmented Reality] (AR)."

DesignRush released the March list of the top business consulting firms that help startups overcome challenges, identify opportunities and improve performance:

1. Civility Partners - civilitypartners.com
Expertise: Conflict Management, Leadership Development, Performance Management and more

2. Cloudester Software LLP - cloudester.com
Expertise: Web Design, Web Development, App Development and more

3. Kotwel - kotwel.com
Expertise: AI Training Data, Data Collection, Data Annotation and more

4. Flatline Agency - flatlineagency.com
Expertise: eCommerce Development, App Development, Website Development and more

5. iamrobert - iamrobert.com
Expertise: Analytics & Research, Web Design, Branding and more

6. Stratosphere - joinstratosphere.com
Expertise: Website Design & Development, Digital Marketing, Reputation Management and more

7. Atomic Revenue - atomicrevenue.com
Expertise: Lead Generation, Sales Conversion, Revenue Operations and more

8. Out2Bound - out2bound.com
Expertise: Sales Consulting, IT Consulting, Lead Generation and more

9. Skaled - skaled.com
Expertise: Sales Transformation, Sales Operations, Organizational Alignment and more

10. Quality Media Consultant Group LLC - qualitymediaconsultants.com
Expertise: Corporate Training, Pricing Strategy, Brand Marketing and more

11. World Money Group - worldmoneygroup.net
Expertise: Investment Management, Trading Strategies, Personal Finances and more

12. 90 Day Profit Breakthrough - 90dayprofitbreakthrough.com
Expertise: Lead Generation, Marketing Consulting, Corporate Training and more

13. FutureSolve - futuresolve.com
Expertise: Strategic CHRO, Leadership Agility, HR Tech and more

Brands can explore the top business consulting firms by location, size, average hourly rate and portfolio on DesignRush.

About DesignRush:

DesignRush.com is a B2B marketplace connecting businesses with agencies through expert reviews and agency ranking lists, awards, knowledge resources and personalized agency recommendations for vetted projects.

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