The world of modern business has faced massive upheaval over the last few years as everything from a pandemic to shattered supply chains and mass retirements have rolled by. While some elements of the upheaval have stabilized a bit, some have not. If you run a small business, keep reading for some key small business trends 2023 you should watch out for in the coming year.
The Talent Gap
Many problems face businesses in terms of talent acquisition as they enter 2023. Even before the pandemic, there was a global talent shortage in areas like cybersecurity and information technology. Couple this with the Great Resignation that found tens of millions of people leaving their jobs to reevaluate their careers, lives, and how they intersect, and businesses are faced with massive talent shortages.
This has left businesses with few options but to offer up things that workers have requested recently and for decades, such as better work-life balance, remote work opportunities, more automation of rote work, and better, more inclusive company cultures. While small businesses can’t necessarily compete on the benefits front or always offer remote work opportunities, they often can compete on the culture front. Small businesses are often lower-key, more flexible, and offer a more family-like experience when compared with massive companies.
Health and Wellness
The world of business ownership hasn’t softened the demands on business owners in recent years. If anything, the demands have intensified as business owners must find ways to keep their businesses afloat among all new technological and staffing demands. While necessity may drive innovation, it can also prove an abundant source of stress. After several years of unrelenting stress for business owners, you should see a serious uptick in interest in health, wellness, and self-care.
Some old standbys, such as getting regular exercise and eating right. If you’ve gotten into the habit of skipping the gym and hitting the drive-thru, it’s probably time to reverse that trend. There are also destressing activities you work into high-intensity schedules, such as short yoga routines or meditation. If you’re looking ready to boost your commitment to self-improvement or mend your wellness ways, here are some of the best things you can do for your health.
The demands of the pandemic forced a lot of digital transformation onto small businesses and corporate behemoths alike. For small businesses, those changes often took the form of embracing the world of e-commerce and online shops to keep revenue coming in when foot traffic dried up. While the mass growth of e-commerce has slowed since retail outlets reopened to customer foot traffic, many people now lean on online shopping in a way they never have before. That means small businesses must continue their digital transformation efforts.
One of the more common options available is digital marketing to drive traffic to your e-commerce storefront. You may also look for cloud computing technology to help you boost efficiency or provide a better employee experience. For example, hosting your main digital infrastructure in the cloud makes remote access easier. You can also leverage technology for automation tasks that let your employees focus on core business and revenue-generating activities. You can even use simple A.I. to run chatbots that answer basic customer service questions. Digital transformation is one of the small business trends 2023 that will continue to evolve.
The U.S. is seeing some of its highest inflation in 40 years. Moreover, inflation is soaring globally, and there are no good signs that it will recede much in 2023. That has many consequences for small businesses. One of the big consequences is that small businesses will need to consider paying higher wages before recruiting new talent. Since inflation almost always gets passed along to the customer, everyone is looking for a way to pad their budget.
It also means that businesses will face higher operating costs. Everything from paper clips to printer toner to new equipment will cost more to acquire. Inventory will cost more because transportation costs will increase. In all, it likely means dealing with thinner-than-usual margins for your business.
Supply Chain Problems
While inflation is bad enough by itself, the global supply chain never got a chance to recover from the pandemic. To make matters even more complicated, many countries still enforce lockdowns and quarantines or revive them as new Covid variants pop up. This further disrupts the supply chain by slowing down production across the globe or preventing shipments from departing from foreign ports. This problem is only compounded by backlogs at domestic ports suffering from a shortage of qualified workers.
That makes reliably securing inventory a daunting challenge for small business owners with limited leverage. Managing supply chain problems for a small business often means opening up lines of communication with secondary vendors or suppliers or looking for new suppliers outright. For example, a small business may look for domestic alternatives to products they used to get from overseas suppliers. While domestic suppliers are often more expensive, they can also prove more reliable.
This transition can have some serious consequences for your business. For example, you may need to raise prices to offset the higher cost of domestic products. On the upside, you may also find ways to reduce transportation costs by working with domestic suppliers since products don’t need to travel as far. Even so, higher costs can drive away customers who expect lower prices.
Small Business Trends 2023 and You
The small business trends 2023 promise more of the same in some areas, such as inflation and supply chain issues. Acquiring good talent may also remain problematic, particularly for small businesses that can’t compete on wages or salary alone. Of course, it promises a deeper focus on health and wellness for business owners. It also promises a continuing acceleration of digital transformation.
E-Marketing Associates helps businesses manage their digital transformation with lead generation and other online marketing products and services. Contact us today for help getting your digital transformation off the ground.