5 trends redefining business and entrepreneurship

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

Being an businesskinda.com or business owner today has proven to be extremely challenging. As we enter the new year, we have many variables to consider. Fortunately, every new year offers an opportunity to position ourselves for success, provided we are aware of the predicted trends.

As we head into the new year, let’s take a look at five prevailing trends that are impacting entrepreneurs and business owners. We discuss how you can use this information to protect yourself from uncertainty while maximizing your efforts.

1. Technology will continue to grow

Technology and digitization may be the only factors unaffected by geopolitics. In fact, innovation has never happened as fast as it did in the early 2020s. In 2023, experts predict that AI (artificial intelligence) and VR (virtual reality) will continue to grow and expand into new sectors and industries.

Early adopters can enjoy new time-saving and money-saving benefits. In other cases, they will discover that they have put the cart before the horse and have to wait for their customers to catch up. Whatever your industry, it’s critical that you stay abreast of top tech news and look out for products that can improve (or hurt) your bottom line.

2. Sustainability comes first

It only took one summer of high gas prices to completely change the way the world thinks about electric cars. Now green and sustainable technology is trending more than ever. A new study in August revealed that 66% of American consumers would be willing to pay more for sustainable products.

And while many business owners think this trend only applies to energy or highly polluting industries, this is no less true. Modern consumers are interested in green and ethical sourcing at all levels of the supply chain. From how factories are powered to how labor is handled to how the final products are packaged, every step in the process can be a potential marketing goldmine (or a PR nightmare).

3. The employee/employer relationship will continue to change

Few things in the world have changed as dramatically after the pandemic as work. And while business leaders see this shift as a major threat to their productivity, smaller companies may benefit from new employment trends. For example, by offering options for remote working or hybrid working, you immediately make yourself more attractive to potential employees. Many of them may accept less pay in exchange for more freedom. Sometimes you save thousands by getting rid of your office space.

Of course, only a few companies lend themselves to remote working. That’s where you should refer to number 1 on this list. The technology is moving so fast that it could replace many paid features in the next 12 months. Couple this with the growing viability of third-party manufacturing, and you suddenly have many new opportunities to expand or cut costs.

4. Customers will demand better experiences

Deloitte recently published a great article on the true value of the customer experience. It shows how much has changed regarding what customers are looking for in a company, product or service. While price and quality are still very important, modern consumers tend to identify with the brands they use in the same way they do with a friend or partner. For this reason, they crave experiences that bring them and their brand “closer together.”

This can be as simple as adding personalized or exclusive items to your products or streamlining the buying experience. Either way, the goal is to make your customers feel special, boost loyalty, and encourage them to promote your brand to others. Of course, technology will also play a central role in this process. From recommendation engines and automated after-sales support to 3D locker room experiences, the more you can offer your customers, the better.

5. Everything is influenced by economic factors

The world entered 2023 with a war in Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe and record inflation almost everywhere else. While these may seem like problems “for the big boys,” every single company will be impacted by these factors over the next year. Whether it’s due to late deliveries, higher fuel costs or overpriced products, we’re all likely to feel an economic squeeze.

Without a crystal ball, the only real solution to this problem is for business owners to map their entire supply chain and identify any parts that may be at risk. Where is your production done? Who arranges your shipment? Are there any materials in your products that are susceptible to supply chain issues? If your business is more service oriented, will it be affected by inflation, energy prices or declining demand? The more you know now, the better prepared you can be later.

Every new year brings new challenges for entrepreneurs and business owners. But in the end that’s all they are! With a little preparation and the dedication to staying on top of industry news, you can empower yourself to weather any storm. More importantly, you can take advantage of opportunities that you might not have considered in the “old days” of 2022.