We’re half way through 2023 and new business trends have already emerged. Since the start of the pandemic, many SMEs have had to adapt and change the way they do business. Though they have faced countless challenges, many small businesses are thriving. To see how small businesses have navigated the changing times, here the top 6 small business trends from 2023.
A Greater Emphasis on Employee Happiness
Modern business owners understand that employee happiness should come first. “Quiet quitting” was an emerging trend last year, and in order to combat it, small businesses are offering their employees more benefits and are becoming hybrid workplaces. Employees are becoming a part of a more flexible work environment where they can choose which hours work best for them and are being offered 4-day workweeks.
Small businesses are acknowledging the importance of mental health in the workplace and are offering mental health days in addition to paid sick leave. Small businesses are offering longer maternity and paternity leave to employees and are offering childcare benefits for parents, such as having a childcare facility onsite or offering childcare vouchers.
There has also been a rise in ongoing training programmes and improved communication in the workplace. These employee benefits are kickstarting a rise in productivity.
Closing Physical Stores and Selling Online
The pandemic has led to an increase in online shopping, so many small businesses have shut up shop in favour of e-commerce. Many consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to shop at any time of the day, having multiple payment options, and having their purchases delivered to their door.
Smaller businesses have closed their physical locations to lower their overhead costs, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. Having an online presence has expanded the number of sales they make, since they have a farther reach. In order to remain competitive, small businesses have turned to selling their products on online marketplaces and having digital marketing companies like Ignite Digital to build them e-commerce websites.
Many small businesses are incorporating sustainable business practices. This includes going paperless to reduce waste, redesigning packaging to make it smaller, and using more ethical suppliers. They are also partnering with local businesses to ensure that their products are locally sourced.
Small businesses are becoming more transparent about their environmental impact and social responsibility because customers want to buy from businesses that share their values. They’re even sharing their long-term goals and are opening up to suggestions from their customers and the local community about how they can improve their sustainability.
Marketing takes considerable time that small businesses can’t spare, so marketing campaigns are being outsourced. For some small businesses, it’s not economical to hire an in-house marketing team full time; it’s more cost-effective to outsource it. Small businesses are choosing to focus on digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing, and outsourcing it to an expert means that they are more likely to get a return on investment.
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Personalised Customer Service
Customers have come to expect personalised customer service. Small businesses are improving user experience on their sites by making them more accessible and providing personalised recommendations based on their customers browsing history. Businesses are doing more keyword research to gain insight into what their clients want. For example, if a moving businesses sees that potential customers are looking up “orange county movers”, they can target them with personalised ads and emails.
Expanding Their Range of Products and Services
Small businesses are trying to appeal to more customers and retain their existing ones by expanding their range of products and services. By offering new products, they can create multiple revenue streams and one-up their competitors. Small businesses are trying to diversify their products to satisfy their customer’s needs and are bundling their old and new products to increase their average order value (AOV).
Not all small businesses have implemented these changes in 2023, but the ones that have are seeing the benefits already. If you’re a small business owner looking to follow these trends, take your time and make the changes gradually.
Image Credits: Tim Mossholder