As a result of the pandemic, many business owners in 2022 had to learn to be adaptive and agile in a tough economic environment. The ability to respond to emerging challenges, changing consumer preferences and market opportunities was critical for entrepreneurs trying to remain successful. As Steve G Papermaster – Nano chairman and CEO – knows, this ability will still be vital in helping small businesses thrive in 2023.
In 2023, the global entrepreneurial landscape is expected to adapt to a host of factors, including technological, social, and economic changes. As such, business owners should expect to navigate some of the following trends.
Pre-pandemic, e-commerce was already on the rise. However, the pandemic only served to accelerate its adoption, and in the years to come it is still expected to post positive results (albeit at slower growth rates). Overall, e-commerce may account for more than 22% of retail sales, with specific categories such as home improvement and electronics looking to maintain strong positions.
Broadly, businesses should expect to use technology to help bridge gaps in achieving operational efficiency and improving the customer experience. The use of affordable artificial intelligence (AI) solutions is likely to gain more prominence, as is the need for sustainable (or green) technology that has a lasting positive impact. Entrepreneurs should position their businesses to deliver hybrid customer experiences, which will help enrich customer interaction.
From an employee perspective, increased working from home has translated to a surge in digital capabilities. Entrepreneurs still need to keep learning how to manage in virtual environments, which may require upskilling and reskilling to acquire a new set of skills – both for them and their teams.
A More Pragmatic Business Style
Leading up to 2022, the common investment trend for many investors was to focus their energies on start-ups, “untested” technologies and growth stocks, all with the desire to earn a decent return on investment. However, with the economic and monetary shifts being made post-2020, a rebalancing of investment portfolios is expected to happen in 2023. The consequences are that investors may not be as open to speculative investing as before, so entrepreneurs might need to work harder to raise funds.
Additionally, business owners should expect to see less of a preference for disruption, whether in business or politics, and more of a return to a pragmatic style of business. This style focuses more on incremental change, with innovative players working more collaboratively with established stakeholders.