With a new year comes new opportunities and challenges for small businesses. As trade business owners, we need to be ready to evolve in order to succeed in an economic climate which is difficult for everyone. Those adaptive skills we developed over the pandemic are going to come in handy now when creative solutions are needed once more. Here is what to expect in 2023.
The cost of running a business is likely to increase
This is not the news any business owner wants to hear when inflation is already so high, but preparation can reduce the impact. The new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your operational costs. Identifying where expenses can be reduced and where resources can be reinvested to better fulfil your business needs may help you save money in the long run.
Sustainability is going to be more important, and more accessible
As sustainability continues to be at the forefront of many people’s minds, now is the time to think about how you can incorporate sustainable practices into your business. The main barrier to sustainable living is financial, yet in 2022 research showed customers are choosing sustainability more than ever because affordable options became more available. This is predicted to continue into 2023 so investing time into looking for affordable sustainable options could set your business apart!
The increase in business-to-consumer conversations means people are more aware than ever of how businesses operate. This means they are informed and can choose to align their spending with their values and put their money into sustainable brands.
Engaging with customers will provide a competitive edge
The rise of social media marketing has seen businesses succeed when focusing more on interacting with the consumer through these channels and building relationships. Generating rapport in this way means businesses are better able to anticipate the consumer’s needs and preemptively cater to them. As consumers are presented with endless options, building trust with customers is crucial for retaining their business!
Buy now, pay later options are on the increase
With inflation and a potential recession looming, financially conscious businesses and customers alike are looking for ways to optimise affordability. One of the ways to generate business is through micro-loans which allow the consumer to split up payments making big purchases more affordable. This means customers can buy straight away, instead of saving up – which means you can get sales straight away. There will also likely be an increase in the ways that businesses can buy materials in similar ways to off-set costs.
The labour shortage will continue
The labour shortage is set to continue throughout 2023, which means finding new employees may be challenging. Thinking about how you can make your role more appealing in a competitive market means thinking about what benefits you can offer and how employees want to work. Flexible working options and ethical business values score highly with jobseekers, so start thinking about how you can differentiate yourself from the crowd. Happy employees also work better and more efficiently, so everyone wins.
Advancements in technology will speed up
As always, technology continues to rapidly evolve – are you utilising new tech advancements? It’s easy to be wary of fancy new technology, but you may be surprised just how much it can lighten your load. For example, software programs can automate a large amount of your business admin, and, as these become more and more sophisticated, they work more and more seamlessly together. Artificial Intelligence is going to become more of a standard in 2023, taking a lot of customer interaction and planning tasks off your plate. Taking time to research and understand your options could give you a serious amount of time back. And time is money, after all.