12 Small Business Trends and Opportunities for 2023

Quick Tips / December 6, 2022 / Thanny Schmitz

In recent years, small business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide have faced a wide range of challenges, including an uncertain economic landscape, ever-changing work models, and quickly evolving technologies. If you feel a little unsure about what to expect in 2023, rest assured you’re not alone.

In times like these, being creative and having clear goals go a long way to staying relevant and building strong relationships with employees and clients. And where there is creativity, there are many opportunities for trends to emerge and set the tone for the new year. 

If you’re always looking for new and different ways to grow your business, information and an innovative mindset are your most powerful tools. With that in mind, we carefully researched and curated the top small business trends and opportunities that will dominate the market and set the tone for 2023.

From modern work models to enhanced customer experiences, in this blog, we’ll dive deep into what you need to know to ride the wave of these trends and find exciting business growth opportunities.

Let’s get started.

Small Business Trends and Opportunities - Predictions for 2023

List of the Top Small Business Trends and Opportunities for 2023

  1. Employee-Centric Work Models
  2. Employee Incentives
  3. The Era of Collaboration (Daylite)
  4. Inflationary Pressures
  5. Increased Cyber Security
  6. Prioritizing Sustainability
  7. The Surge of Voice Search Tech
  8. Metaverse
  9. Immersive Customer Experience
  10. The Rise of Video Content
  11. Email Makes a Comeback
  12. It’s Now or Never

Bonus: To help you stay top of mind with the small business trends and opportunities within, we invite you to sign up to receive the exclusive 2023 Small Business Trends Calendar wallpapers for desktop. Designed to remind you how to leverage each trend month by month, the calendars also give you an opportunity to challenge yourself, experiment with new things and learn more about your business.

1. Employee-Centric Work Models

It may feel like yesterday, but it’s been almost three years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to rethink work culture. 

The lines separating work and life became blurry as work started occupying spaces designated for life, home and family. In order to remain productive during lockdowns, people started new projects and hobbies and acquired new habits. As a result, in recent years, companies in all industries faced the “great resignation,” where employees voluntarily resigned altogether due to factors like job stagnation, lack of benefits or inflexible policies. Consequently, it triggered the “quiet quitting” phenomenon, sparked by a significant decrease in employee engagement.

Now, as the world navigates into the “new normal” and tries to redefine work culture, we see the rise of an employee-centric work model, which is fundamentally focused on the whole employee and not just their output. It creates an environment where team members feel safe to be creative, give ideas, and even challenge processes they feel might be affecting their productivity.

Some of the main benefits of employee-centric work models are:

  • Productivity boost. Happier employees are more invested in their jobs, which increases productivity and innovation. 
  • Talent retention and acquisition. Employee-centric workplaces are every talent’s dream. That might be the solution if you’re struggling to attract or retain top talent.

Check out the next trend to learn how to create an employee-centric work model and take full advantage of this trend!

2. Employee Incentives

Now that we’ve touched on employee-centric work cultures, let’s take a look at how you can take action to create such an environment in your business, which has everything to do with our second trend: employee incentives.

Think about embracing hybrid work to add flexibility or adopting smart incentives, like 4-day work weeks, to increase productivity, for example. Most importantly, learn what your team members value the most and find creative incentives to offer without impacting your revenue growth. Here are a couple examples:

It’s time to rethink the relationships between employees and organizations so that you can have a team of engaged and motivated individuals who are willing to grow alongside your business. After all, people want more than pizza and a pat on the back; they want to feel valued and understood for who they are. 

3. The Era of Collaboration (Daylite)

With the rise of employee-centric work models, having reliable collaboration tools has never been more critical. As a business owner or manager, you must ensure every team member has access to the tools they need to thrive in remote and in-person environments.

As technology continues to evolve in 2023, the need for tools that centralize communications, processes, and touch points is at an all-time high. Such platforms empower team members to take more ownership of tasks and projects they’re working on, as they have easy access to all the information they need; from communications and files to clients’ details and next steps.

And, of course, Daylite is the ultimate collaboration tool for Mac-based small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Daylite ensures that you and your team can collaborate efficiently and with transparency. It gives your team a roadmap to success, enhancing performance and teamwork while keeping everyone in sync and on the same page. Daylite keeps your business data organized, searchable and accessible at all times and in one place.

Pro tip: Start your free Daylite trial and discover how Daylite is a game-changer for small businesses in over 80+ countries as it helps build stronger relationships, close more deals, and execute more projects while collaborating better with your teams.

4. Inflationary Pressures

According to the Small Business Recovery Report, a survey by New American Express, 75% of American small businesses claim to have been negatively impacted by high inflation in the last year. To face uncertain economic times, many business owners must adopt creative business practices in order to survive. 

This small business trend is about finding smart and creative solutions to endure the ever-so-challenging economic climate. Here are a couple of ideas to reduce the biggest expenses for your business:

  • Make the most out of the tools you already have. Instead of paying for different platforms that each performs one small part of the work, why not optimize the use of essential tools and resources? Having a unique tool like Daylite to take care of your daily work is crucial. It’s a comprehensive business tool that streamlines tasks, contacts’ information, follow-ups, sales opportunities, projects, and more. Daylite keeps your day-to-day work organized and your data easily accessible, making collaboration easier and more effective, so you have more time to focus on the financial strategies to keep your business afloat. 
  • Reduce unnecessary spending. This is another sign that hybrid and remote work are no longer just a trend but the norm. That’s because these work models are also financially beneficial for your business. Think about it: if you have fewer people working in the office every day, that means you can relocate to a smaller space or go fully remote. This way you save money not only on rent, but with utilities and insurance too.

5. Increased Cyber Security

Did you know businesses under 100 employees are up to 350% more vulnerable to cyber-attacks? According to the Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends report, employees of small businesses are more frequently targeted by cybercriminals, whose tactics are becoming more refined and harder to detect. 

Small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks because they often don’t have the resources or workforce to implement sophisticated cybersecurity systems. The bad news is that the ransomware fees demanded by attackers are exponentially more expensive than having effective cyber security measures in place. 

One of the ways to protect your business from cyber-attacks and increase the security of your data is to invest in operating systems that are widely known for being fundamentally more secure, like macOS, for example. 

Apple products are market leaders for multiple reasons, one of them being their cyber security measures. Compared to windows, the macOS offers a more solid defence against attacks, even when there are no other sophisticated complementary security systems. That’s why the Mac is the best choice for small businesses worldwide.

6. Prioritizing Sustainability

While the discussions about climate change and sustainability have been an urgent topic for over a decade, companies in all industries are now taking action to reduce their carbon footprints and have a positive environmental impact. Such actions are triggered by a shift in client behaviour, as consumers are now more conscious and opting to do business with eco-friendly companies.

As a small business, you, too, can make tweaks to habits and processes to ensure you have sustainable business practices. Here’s how you can start:

  • Send digital proposals and presentations. To reduce the use of paper and the creation of waste, prioritize digital documents as much as possible. When meeting clients, instead of bringing a printed proposal or brochure, send them the presentation before the meeting or showcase it on your iPad or MacBook.
  • Embrace digital contracts. Instead of signing contracts on paper, move them to digital. With the DayliteDocs add-on by our partner iOSXpert, your customers can sign contracts on any device, and you always have a legally valid digital copy of the contract.
  • Sustainable swag. If you offer swag or goodies to employees, clients or suppliers, think of sustainable alternatives that help reduce waste, like insulated bottles or travel mugs and custom-made beeswax wrap, for example.  
  • Go green. Prioritize green initiatives for the office, like solar energy, recycling, eco-friendly landscaping, etc. Some industries have inherent limitations that make it harder to go fully green. If that’s your case, consider donating a portion of your revenue to environmental non-profits and organizations. 

Set a goal and outline the changes you’re making to achieve it. Once you start taking the steps toward a more eco-friendly business practice, let your clients know. 

7. The Surge of Voice Search Tech

With the fast ascension of voice-controlled systems like Siri and Alexa, more and more people are adopting voice searches. A report from Google shows that 41% of adults use voice search daily. Among teens, that number spikes to 55%. The key reason for such results is the fact that voice search is much more convenient and practical.

As speech recognition technologies evolve and become more sophisticated, consumer spending via voice-based searches is expected to reach $20 billion by 2032, with a market share of 18.5% according to a report by Future Market Insights.

That’s why businesses must start optimizing their digital and social media marketing initiatives to account for voice search. Adapting your website or app to become voice-search friendly can give you a head-start ensuring you’re fully prepared to take advantage of this trend. 

8. Metaverse

You didn’t have to be a super tech-savvy business owner to have heard of the term “metaverse” in 2022. Following Facebook’s rebranding to Meta in late 2021, we have seen the ascension of the concept of a “virtual and augmented reality” where people can work, socialize and do business all in one place. 

While the metaverse is subject to different visions and diverging ideas from industry leaders such as Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia, a report by McKinsey and Co forecasts the metaverse’s value to reach $5 trillion by 2030, with a significant impact across key sectors and businesses over the years. 

The main appeal of the metaverse, aka “web 3.0”, is the innovation and, of course, its futuristic proposal. As consumers are constantly looking for different and more exciting ways to create relationships with companies they do business with, the metaverse offers a new tool to enhance customer experience. 

But the benefits of the metaverse are not limited to marketing and client relationships. Companies are already leveraging the metaverse to invest in team-building by creating custom virtual environments, replicas of their physical spaces, to conduct onboarding and training with remote employees. It’s a new, innovative way to keep motivation and engagement high among remote teams. 

So if you want to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of this small business trend, embrace the metaverse. 

9. Immersive Customer Experience

Customer experience is the key factor determining a client’s likelihood to close the deal, return to your website or even recommend you to friends and family. Last year, the small business trend was to invest in personalized customer experience. But if you want to keep taking advantage of this evolving trend in 2023, it’s time to take the next step and provide an immersive customer experience. 

When it comes to customer experience, “immersion” means a significant enhancement in how a brand or company manages the customer journey across multiple channels or touchpoints, always aiming to improve the relationship. Offering an immersive customer experience can include:

  • Mixing traditional communication channels such as email and websites with in-person experiences like calls, live chat or meetings.
  • Leveraging the fast-growing metaverse (remember trend #8?) and offering an elevated client experience in virtual environments.

Companies that put extra effort into personalizing their client journey and offering immersive experiences are prime candidates to take full advantage of this trend, strengthen their brands and keep clients coming back. 

10. The Rise of Video Content

As you’ve seen in recent years, every time you open your preferred social media app, you see a feed full of videos. According to a report by Cisco Systems, 79% of global data traffic consumption originated from videos in 2022. This trend is expected to stay on the rise in 2023 thanks to a shift in user behaviour and the fast ascension of platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reels and Stories.

If you’re still not fully convinced that video content is the ultimate trend to follow, here are some statistics that may change your mind:

If you want your small business to stay ahead of the curve in 2023, embrace video content.

Pro tip: If you’re in the Legal industry, check out this blog, where we outline five smart ways for you to start creating videos to boost your presence. 

11. Email Makes a Comeback

There’s nothing like a well-crafted email when it comes to streamlining communication channels between companies and clients. Innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are falling back in love with email marketing, which makes it a promising trend for 2023. 

There’s no denying that high quality email campaigns are a powerful marketing channel to build relationships, nurture leads, connect with your audience, and even share important updates or business news. It gives you total ownership of your mailing list, so you can focus your efforts on communicating only with the right people.

According to a report from the Litmus Resource Center, email marketing also has an impressive ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. The same report shows that emails are also 40x more effective at getting your audience’s attention than mainstream social media platforms. 

When planning your marketing strategies for the new year, don’t forget to include email marketing to enhance your digital performance and boost your online presence.

12. It’s Now or Never

Triggered in part by the world coming out of a pandemic and by the constant pressure to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their health, wealth and environment, consumers gradually have a sense of what the “new normal” looks like as we see a general longing for freedom and an overall carefree attitude.

As a counterforce for the stresses of modern life and a feeling of powerlessness in the face of uncertainty, the Now or Never trend proposes a carefree attitude as a way to “live now, pay later” and enjoy the pleasures life has to offer. That means consumers are taking back control of their narratives and living on their own terms, doing what they want when they want it, before it’s too late.

Companies in all industries are already adapting and responding to this trend, facilitating the pleasure-seeking of their target markets. More and more businesses are adopting the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) model, enabling clients to indulge in their products and services.

To take advantage of this trend, remember that the Now or Never attitude is about the unrestrained, carefree attitude of clients pursuing happiness by whatever means they can and how you can help them out in the process.

Key Small Business Trends and Opportunities Takeaways

From focusing on modern work models to have happy employees to offering an enhanced customer experience to have happy clients, these small business trends and opportunities will dominate the market and set the tone of client behaviour in the new year. As we head into 2023, remember to keep these trends in mind to find exciting new business opportunities. Let us know in the comments which of the trends above you are most excited about!

Don’t forget: Sign up to receive the exclusive 2023 Small Business Trends Calendar, so you can keep up and leverage these exciting and buzzworthy trends to boost innovation and productivity in your small business month-by-month.

About the author: Thanny Schmitz is a seasoned copywriter and content strategist passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. With over a decade of experience, Thanny has been behind insightful articles and blogs that inform and spark meaningful conversations within the ever-evolving spheres of tech and small business success.

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