As we enter this year, we hear predictions and news about the things coming our way. On one hand, people are reporting that this year may not be the best year to buy a property or this year starting a business might not be so feasible whereas, on the other hand, people are reporting quite the contrary. The most frequently reported details, however, surround interest rates, inflation, and recession. Even though much of the population is expecting a recession, some say that it is not certain. But one thing is for certain and that is small businesses are dealing with economic obstacles in the present situation. At the same time though, according to the 2022 Small Business Now report, 90% of small businesses believe that they will remain resilient and remain in business.

It is to be noted that the current situation is very challenging, as it has been for the past two years due to the pandemic and as we are entering the third year, where the pandemic continues to bring along its effects along, small business owners must continue to stay resilient. On the bright side, these business owners know the environment that was created after Covid-19 hit and they can use their experiences in the last two years for this year. 

Contrarily, even though some small businesses shut down because of the obstacles they had to face, many of the small businesses survived, and about 52% of these reported that they are looking forward to expanding and diversifying in 2023. As strenuous as the situation may seem, in reality, small business owners are optimistic and believe that things will be different this time. A Hello Alice survey taken recently, reveals that about 73% of small business owners believe that their business will grow this year. These owners reported that they have analyzed situations such as inflation and come up with strategies to combat them. They are ready to take risks but at the same time, they must come up with disparate solutions to limit the risks.

Not to mention, this time consumers and financial platforms are willing to support small businesses provided that their services, values, and their goals align with them or are in their favour. Even if they do not receive as much financial support as they require, small businesses are reportedly much more attentive to managing their budget and costs. So, if they continue to manage their costs effectively, they might attract or convince investors to invest in their business.

Equally important is the trend, which is likely to be much more prominent in 2023 and that is, Women entrepreneurs are adamant to learn more about finances and apply that knowledge to their small businesses so that they may also be able to combat difficult situations and flourish.

Finally, what should small businesses do to grow? Below are some recommended strategies:

– It is recommended that they plan in readiness for the recession because if such circumstances present themselves out of the blue then they should have a plan on how to deal with them. 

– They should know how to attract customers and establish effective communication with them. The ability to communicate with customers is crucial as it determines how much the customer is loyal and willing to stay. Unlike large businesses, small businesses have the advantage of providing customer service and support and retaining customers better. One thing that can be initiated or updated is the email subscriber base. Extend their list of email subscribers so that they can advertise and update them about any programs or campaigns they intend to carry out.

– About 40% of small business struggle with finding employees, and 21% are finding it hard to retain current employees so they need to come up with incentives, benefits, and attractive offers that can attract employees as well as retain the current ones. One way can be keeping an integrated CRM and marketing automation system. Another way of retaining employees can be through automation so that employees can be given much more important tasks whereas processes such as data entry can be done through automation.

– Focus on marketing. Marketing doesn’t have to be always expensive, for example, spending time on Social Media Marketing can prove to be very beneficial. Creating video content or coming up with informative articles and blogs can be attractive as well as engaging.

– Utilize and invest in technology whenever possible. By introducing new technologies, such as AI, in businesses, can speed up growth as it speeds up various processes. This could mean in-depth analysis of huge amounts of data, automation of repetitive processes, and continuous recording of business performance.

No one is certain whether the challenges anticipated will arise or not, but the best thing businesses can do is prepare for whatever is anticipated or predicted by making different plans and coming up with creative approaches. The most essential thing, however, is to stay resilient and approach an optimistic outlook.