4 Things All Small Business Owners Should Know in 2023 – Entrepreneur

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The beginning of a new year often comes with the laundry list of goals and to-dos, which can quickly become overwhelming if you try to tackle too much, too fast. I’ve always approached resolutions simply by setting short and long-term goals spanning the entirety of the 12 months — after all, we have 12 months to accomplish our goals, and there’s a reason they’re not called January Resolutions.

Now is an important time for business owners to reflect and set a course for the year ahead, but it’s easier than ever to get bogged down worrying about the challenges facing the economy .

I would encourage all small business proprietors to deal with 2023 with a splash of empathy and realism. Don’t bury your head in the sand — be mindful of the economic headwinds we’re facing, but don’t let them monopolize your attention. Instead, devote your own time plus energy to the challenges and operations that do fall within your control.

Here are four trends shaping the particular small business landscape to be aware of — and take advantage of — as you implement your plans throughout the year:

Related: 4 Success Tips From Small Businesses That Are Doing It Right

1. The big picture: Business owners are prioritizing marketing and hiring amid recession concerns

We conducted the national survey of business owners late last year, which found 78% expect a recession would impact their company initiatives. Despite this, business owners are actively investing in their businesses, along with a priority on marketing and promotion, employing and increasing wages plus investing in new equipment and technologies.

The best defense against customers tightening their own wallets is a proactive offense. If your marketing efforts could use a refresh, consider these best practices:

  1. Keep it simple : A streamlined strategy that ladders up to your own overall business goals will help keep you on the path to success.

  2. Identify your target audience : Begin with your end goal in mind. With whom are a person communicating and what are you trying in order to tell them?

  3. Choose the right platform: Once you know where to find your audience , you’re ready to pick your preferred advertising channel(s). When kicking off, I’d recommend focusing more heavily on one or two specific marketing channels, at least at first.

  4. Measure your own success : In the age of social media, marketing is no longer an one-way street. A successful marketing campaign is now a multi-platform, multi-interactional way to engage with your customers . Set your objectives and KPIs early, plus examine and reevaluate all of them often in order to see if your message is resonating along with your target audience.

2. Don’t get left behind on the latest business technology

Over the past few years, small businesses have widely adopted new technology to make their operations and customers’ lives easier. At this point, incorporating the latest tech is no longer the nice-to-have — it’s essential to the future of your company. Even in the face of a potential economic downturn, 68% associated with business owners plan to upgrade or incorporate new-technology this year.

Implementing new tech plus services has the potential to be confusing, if not downright intimidating, for many of us. If you’re looking to integrate brand new tech yet don’t know where to start, here’s what you might consider prioritizing this yr:

  1. Investing in an automated payroll or people management (HR) platform to reduce complexities and streamline operational costs.

  2. Accepting new forms of cashless or even peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, such as Zelle, at your own business’ point of sale.

  3. Modernizing your customer relationship management (CRM) system with enhanced omnichannel capabilities that can communicate with your clients, regardless of whatever platform they might become on.

  4. Enhance your cybersecurity measures to protect yourself against hackers and the latest cyber threats. Unfortunately, small businesses are becoming increasingly popular targets for hackers and scammers.

Associated: 3 Things to Consider Before Purchasing New Technology for Your Small Business

3. Business owners are taking advantage of free educational resources

It’s never too late to learn. Free educational sources for business owners have greatly improved and proliferated over the particular past few years, and numerous entrepreneurs (at various stages of their company journey) are seeking them out. Last year, we learned that the majority of company owners wish they were more knowledgeable about business finances — including 75% of women business proprietors — so if you’re looking for tips, here are some resources you can consider:

  • Educational resources like SCORE and Bank associated with America’s Small Business Resources site provide answers to several common questions and are great to keep handy.

  • If you’re interested in pursuing more formal education, organizations like LinkedIn and the SBA have online learning platforms. Bank of America also offers a free online program for women to earn a certificate in business from Cornell.

  • Your local little business banker can also be a key asset to your success plus make your life much simpler.

4. Company ownership may be lonely — don’t go it alone

Starting the brand new year with the weight of running your business on your own shoulders can be beyond stressful. If only one piece of advice from this article sticks with you, I hope it’s this: Find someone to talk to who has been there before.

Explore organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Luminary, your local Small company Chamber associated with Commerce, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Business Networking International or similar groups. The return of in-person networking events has also created opportunities to meet other local entrepreneurs and collaborate with mentors who may support you along your journey as an independent business owner. Less formal ways of social networking such as LinkedIn groups or coffee/drinks with like-minded individuals can be equally beneficial.

Prioritize building relationships with individuals and communities you trust, and you’ll reap the benefits with regard to years to come.

Setting out to complete all of the particular goals if you’re dreaming of regarding the season can end up being daunting, but by adding the above tips to your own game plan, you are usually actively positioning your company intended for continued achievement in 2023 and past.

Related: 7 Networking Groups Every Small Business Owner Should Join