Keep an eye on these small business trends and predictions this year.
- The COVID-19 lending initiatives will be crucial, but they are insufficient. To satisfy the capital requirements of business owners in 2023, alternative financial sources will also be required.
- As conventional marketing and PR receive an upgrade in 2023, spending on digital marketing is anticipated to rise.
- As the COVID-19 epidemic persists into 2023, small enterprises will be the ones to push the adoption of emerging technology, and AR/VR will start to shine.
- This post is for business owners who wish to capitalize on trends and forecasts that will affect their sector in order to kick off the new year on the right foot.
Small companies are certain that 2023 will be a better year now that 2020 is in the books. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic still affects companies nationwide in the United States, this confidence is supported by the delivery of vaccinations. Although the epidemic has been prominent since the beginning of last year, there are other trends that entrepreneurs should keep an eye on.
Business News Daily reached out to professionals in the fields of finance, marketing, technology, and human resources to learn what small companies might anticipate in 2023 and how to capitalize on these trends.
Also Read: 10 Ways to (Really) Know Your Customers
The Paycheck Protection Program will buoy many small businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic effects have caused many firms to run out of cash. Despite the fact that many states resumed operations after the first shutdowns, others are reintroducing restrictions, which is rekindling worries about small enterprises’ viability and cash flow. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created last year under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, received extra financing as part of the recently passed $900 billion stimulus programme.
Courtney Lawless, venture investor and co-host of the Amazon Prime series Wolf PAC, advised small firms to try to benefit from the new stimulus package, including by qualifying for a new PPP loan.
Depending on how you utilize the money, the PPP loan can be forgiven in the future. Learn more about the new round of funding for the PPP loan programme by reading this article.
Alternative sources of capital will fill unmet funding needs.
Loans might not be an option for many other company owners, particularly if they suffered large financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. In certain circumstances, finding alternate sources of funding—like alternative lenders or investors—might be essential for helping many companies secure much-needed capital.
Alternative sources of funding will probably be crucial for keeping enterprises sustainable, according to Lawless. Grants, fintech, venture capital, angel investors, peer-to-peer financing, and crowdsourcing are a few examples of alternative sources. These are crucial since the COVID-19 epidemic has had a detrimental effect on many firms’ balance sheets, making it impossible for them to fulfil the standards of traditional lending sources.
Spend on social media will increase.
It is hardly surprising that social media has become a target for marketers as a result of the top social media networks’ combined billions of users. Even in 2023, such tremendous increase will continue. According to projections from the insurance company Finaria, the total amount spent on social media advertisements would reach $105 billion by 2023, an increase of 15%. That is almost twice as much as the $54.4 billion total spent on social media advertisements in 2017.
According to Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Media Group, “year after year, we’re seeing expenditure on social media climb, and this year it was a tremendous increase.” Everybody was compelled to reduce their reliance on conventional brick-and-mortar marketing. Many of them now realize that switching to digital was a good decision because it is functioning so effectively.
In 2023, Zoldan said, “we’ll see a drive ahead with digital marketing investment.”
The importance of social media advertising is growing, but so is the level of competition. To develop an audience and raise brand recognition, small businesses should concentrate on a multichannel organic strategy. While advertisements can support organic development, small businesses should refrain from engaging in a social media arms race with rivals when organic strategies like content marketing may provide a higher return on investment.
Paid placement advertising will increase in traditional media outlets.
Spending on sponsored placement advertising increased in the United States from $4.75 billion in 2012 to $11.44 billion in 2019, and Zoldan predicted that this growth will only continue till 2023. He said that as viewers unquestionably prefer authenticity to an advertising, the distinction between sponsored material and non-sponsored content is also going to get fuzzier.
Given how hard it is to obtain earned publicity, Zoldan predicted that paid insertion in conventional media will increase significantly. It will be hard to distinguish between paid and earned placements since they will be so deep and video-focused.
Zoldan continued, saying that many media outlets would find this to be a hazardous tactic that could endanger their credibility. But “a lot of corporations are walking the line there,” he claimed.
Multimedia spend will generate better ROI than conventional press releases.
Press releases are becoming less successful, according to Zoldan, in part because it is more challenging to obtain earned media. Instead of sending text-based press releases to media outlets in the hopes that they would be published, brands are more likely to generate video announcements of important corporate advancements and bring press releases in-house.
Press announcements are obsolete, according to Zoldan. “Publishing press releases today is largely worthless.”
When press releases are required, interactive or video-based ones will work best, according to Zoldan.
Augmented reality and virtual reality come into their own.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been popular for a while, but 2023 may be the year they truly take off in terms of commercial usage. The best part is that tiny enterprises could set the trend.
“Virtual and augmented reality give us a new perspective on the world. It’s quite effective, especially during a pandemic, said Joe Apfelbaum, founder and CEO of B2B marketing firm Ajax Union. If you wish to attend networking events, you may do so at the current VR networking events. Affordable trade fair exhibits that feature VR and AR experiences are possible.
Small companies should think about utilizing AR and VR to differentiate themselves from the competition and thrill their audience.
AI and big data will drive personalization.
The use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in business is another technology that is unavoidable. These two innovations are a perfect fit that enables organizations to gather enormous amounts of data and apply machine learning to interpret that data. Businesses can identify new efficiencies in internal operations or improve the targeting of marketing efforts by using the knowledge they obtain from doing this.
Big data now allows for a great level of customization, according to Apfelbaum. Because you can foresee what your consumers desire, you can utilize it to create a unique user experience.
According to Apfelbaum, AI is capable of more than just contextualizing commercial data.
In an interview with Business News Daily, Apfelbaum noted, “For instance, this call is being transcribed by AI. “It will immediately accept action items if I say ‘action item. It will automatically generate a section for the amount of money we are referencing if I say “fifty dollars.”
It’s less expensive to get started than you would imagine, whether small firms want to use machine learning and data analytics for marketing or finding new efficiencies at work.
Small businesses will drive new tech adoption.
According to Apfelbaum, a widespread misunderstanding about emerging technology is that small firms believe it to be the domain of large corporations. Apfelbaum said that the contrary is actually true.
If new technology is released and you run a small firm, you can use it right away, he added. When a large corporation has tested and set up everything, they don’t want to modify it again because they have already invested so much.
Small firms have an advantage because they can move quickly and adjust to new technology, and in 2023, small enterprises will be the ones driving widespread adoption of technologies like AR/VR and machine intelligence.
According to Aaron Holt, a labour and employment lawyer at Cozen O’Connor, with the shifting of the White House guard, the field of human resources might experience some substantial changes. This can lead to changes in policy that affect companies of all sizes.
The federal minimum wage will be increased.
The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in more than ten years, and the Biden campaign called for a significant rise.
It is now $7.25, and the last time it was changed was in 2009, according to Holt. The $15 minimum wage was mentioned by the Biden administration, which would be a significant rise. I would anticipate some kind of minimum wage rise, regardless of whether they really implement that degree of increase.
Federal paid leave could become law in 2023.
The need for paid family and medical leave has increased significantly in light of the epidemic. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the unpaid leave it offers have recently been expanded by the federal government with the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). But if Democrats get control of the Senate, Holt warned, that may quickly change to paid leave.
The other significant development that we anticipate is the introduction of new paid leave rules, according to what the Biden administration has announced. Throughout the epidemic, Biden was rather loud about that, according to Holt. “I would anticipate Biden to attempt to establish some sort of regulated paid leave at the federal level, especially if Democrats control both chambers of Congress.
It has to be seen whether or not that would apply to enterprises of all sizes, said Holt.
OSHA will step up pandemic-related enforcement.
The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) may not have spoken with many small companies much in 2018, but that is probably going to change in 2023. To prepare for heightened surveillance, Holt advised small firms to make sure they have the necessary safety practices in place.
When it comes to taking enforcement action, launching active investigations, or requiring compliance with pandemic-related safety procedures, OSHA has been very silent during the epidemic, according to Holt. “I anticipate that the Biden administration will alter that. In terms of pandemic limitations, I would anticipate significantly stronger advice and aggressive enforcement from OSHA at both the federal and state levels.
If OSHA increases monitoring and enforcement, how can small firms make sure they are ready to pass a compliance check?
The best course of action, according to Holt, is to follow the CDC’s recommendations for what businesses should do to safeguard their clients, staff members, and consumers. Additionally, be careful to verify any applicable local and state laws. Businesses may be subject to lockdowns or limitations imposed by county or state government, and employers within that region are required to abide by these laws. If not, a penalty of some kind can often be imposed.
Small businesses will need a COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Businesses will need a policy on how to handle vaccination obligations once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely accessible. Holt advised business owners to start drafting a plan right away. When creating your policy, get legal advice to make sure that all local, state, and federal requirements are adhered to.
Employers will have to make a judgement about how to handle this in the workplace once the vaccine is more widely available. Do they intend to demand it? suggest it? Encourage staff members to obtain it? stated Holt. In particular for SMBs without an HR staff, “getting those policies and procedures created and adjusted, and making sure they fit operational demands of the firm now, is going to be critical.”