City street with a blurred image of people crossing in the crosswalk.
Entrepreneurs predict a variety of changes, trends, and opportunities in 2023, from an increased focus on sustainability to a heightened emphasis on customer retention. — Getty Images/deberarr

Businesses faced many challenges in 2022, from inflation to the “Great Resignation” to disruptive supply chain issues. Arguably, small businesses felt the effects of these changes most of all, struggling to find the agility to adapt to the new normal.

Businesses will face many of the same challenges in 2023, and perhaps a few new ones, but there will also be plenty of new opportunities that arise out of the changing marketplace. New technologies, marketing strategies, work models, and more will contribute to the growth and development of many businesses in the new year. Here, six entrepreneurs share their predictions for the year to come and what small businesses can expect to encounter in 2023.

More methods for customer submersion

“The small business forecast for 2023, in my view, will fully submerge consumers. As more and more advanced tools and methods enter the market, consumers have a growing appetite for [immersive] experiences. That has an effect on consumer preferences, discretionary income, and how people use their free time.”

Joe Troyer, CEO and Growth Advisor, ReviewGrower

A shift from customer acquisition to customer retention

“As it is now so simple to establish a business online, client acquisition expenses are on the rise. Paid advertisements are becoming increasingly expensive, and the arrival of Apple iOS 14 has made it more difficult to assess the effectiveness of ad expenditure. Consequently, marketers are moving their focus from client acquisition to brand loyalty, a movement from customer acquisition to customer retention. Customer loyalty programs, customization, and retargeting are a few of the marketing methods firms might employ to accomplish these objectives.”

Steve Elliott, Franchise Owner, Restoration1

[Read more: What is ‘Customer Stickiness’ and How Can it Benefit Your Business?]

I believe that 2023 will be all about technology. More and more businesses are realizing the advantages of digital transformation. Businesses will try to make their operations more efficient by adapting to technology in every aspect of their business.

Rhett Stubbendeck, CEO, LeverageRx

A focus on digitization in the workplace

“I believe that 2023 will be all about technology. More and more businesses are realizing the advantages of digital transformation. Businesses will try to make their operations more efficient by adapting to technology in every aspect of their business.”

— Rhett Stubbendeck, CEO, LeverageRx

A rise in founder-led brands

“As a founder, you may represent your brand and act as an influencer to demonstrate how distinctive and mission-driven your firm is. This can be accomplished in part through founder-led marketing. Using social media and podcasts, you can share your story and mission as a founder, leverage your skills, and become a thought leader in your industry.”

Adam Wood, Co-founder, RevenueGeeks

An increase in customized offerings

“My prediction for the future of small businesses in the year 2023 is the skyrocketing success of customized solutions. In 2022, we have witnessed the rise of personalized services. Events, catering, and housekeeping are just a few of the many services that fall under this category. Startup costs for many service-based firms are often under $500. Finding a local need that's a good fit for your expertise and interests is all that's required.”

Gerrid Smith, Director of E-commerce, Joy Organics

A trend of small businesses working with coaches

“2022 has been a year of many buzzwords — think bandwidth, burnout, and quiet quitting — that leave small business owners desiring more positivity in their own approach to business. Fractional positions and consulting work will continue to be a norm for growing small businesses, with coaching for individuals and teams entering the business arena.”

Erin Jones, Co-creator, The Hello Co.

[Read more: How to Become a Certified Sustainable Business]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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