The world is always changing, and your business must continually change to keep up.

For your business to survive and thrive, you need to know what trends and shifts could impact your sales, customers, and industry.

If you aren’t paying attention to what is happening in industries, markets, cultures, customer expectations, and the world, you could get left behind.

To make sure you know what changes could impact your business in the next year, here are 15 small business trends we’re keeping our eye on in 2023.

15 Small Business Trends to Know in 2023

As you make your 2023 plans, consider these trends and how they may impact your business in the upcoming year.

Marketing Trends

Marketing best practices are always changing. What worked one year could be obsolete the next year. Make sure your marketing is always relevant with the newest strategies, platforms, and tools. As you go into 2023, keep an eye on the following marketing trends.

1. Rise in Short-form Video. More and more platforms will focus content in the form of the short, vertical video style made popular by TikTok.

2. TikTok as a Search Engine. With the rise in popularity of TikTok came a change in how Gen Z searches the internet. More and more Gen Zers are using TikTok as a search engine instead of Google.

3. Continued Value on Influencer Marketing. With so much content created each day, it will be even more valuable to work with influencers who already have an established audience.

Related: How Much Should Your Business Spend on Marketing? 

Financial & Regulation Trends

In 2023, make sure you are paying attention to any trends or shifts in financial markets or regulations in your industry. These changes could directly impact the way you do business and how you manage your money.

4. Inflation to Shift Business Budgets: Inflation rose steadily in 2022, so you are probably already experiencing its impacts. In 2023, it’s essential that you consider how past inflation and possible future inflation can impact your business budget.  

5. Potential Regulation Changes: 2022 is a mid-term election year. Newly elected officials and the potential flipping of legislative seats can lead to changes in regulations. Look out for changes in policies that could impact the way your industry operates.

6. Potential Tax Code Changes (Again): The mid-terms could also lead to changes in the tax code. If you can’t stay up-to-date on tax changes yourself, make sure you have a tax partner who can. Work with a tax partner who follows changing laws and can help you use tax planning to reduce liabilities for your business.

Related: 40+ Questions To Ask Your Business Accountant

Workforce Trends

If hiring is a part of your planning in 2023, make sure you know about changing employee expectations and workforce trends. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation have caused shifts in the way we work.

7. Continued Rise in Work-From-Home Jobs. More and more employees are looking for flexibility in their careers. Job seekers are looking for work-from-home jobs or roles that offer some time working out of the office.

8. Rise in Wage Expectations. With high inflation, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Employees are looking for increases in their wages to make up for it.

9. Demand for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Values. Employees want to work for organizations that prioritize DEI. A  found that 76% of job seekers and employees “report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.”

10. Growing Gig Economy. More and more workers are joining the freelancer workforce. Statista projects that 85.6 million people will be doing freelance work in the US by 2027.

Related: Should You Increase Staff Salaries to Keep Up with Inflation?

Customer Trends

As customer behaviors, interests, beliefs, needs, and wants change, your business may need to adjust to keep up. Consider how changing customer expectations could impact the way you do business, the products you sell, and the services you offer. In 2023, keep an eye on these changing customer expectations and trends.

11. Social Responsibility: Millennials and Gen Z care more about social responsibility than previous generations. They expect companies to not only be socially and politically active, but to also take steps to improve the world for future generations.

12. Going Green: Younger customers are also looking to support brands that have environmentally friendly practices, and they are interested in buying products and services that help them live a green lifestyle.

13. Personalization: Customers are inundated with content, products, and services. The elements they notice most are personalized to meet their specific needs.

14. Pay Later Options: Companies like Uplift, Afterpay, and Affirm are making it easy for customers to make a purchase and split up their payment, often without paying interest. These payment plans are opening up opportunities for customers to buy more expensive products they may have previously passed up.

15. Free Shipping: Thanks to Amazon Prime, many customers have come to expect free shipping for their online orders. Customers may turn away from ecommerce products that include shipping costs.

Related: Add These Important Tax Deadlines to Your 2023 Calendar

Make a Plan & Get Ready for 2023

2023 is right around the corner. Look ahead to see what shifts and trends could impact the way you do business in the new year. Consider how you need to adjust your processes, budget, products, or services to prepare for changes in marketing, customer interests, and global shifts.

If you need help planning for 2023, CFO Solutions is here to help.

We can help you set up a financial plan that maps a road to success. Learn more about how our Guiding Profit Solution (GPS) can put your business on a path to higher profits in 2023.

The GPS is ideal for business owners and CEOs looking for a plan that will provide a vision and map to drive growth and profitability. See how it can help your business. 

Susan Nieland