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Updated: June 12, 2023 Viewpoint

Viewpoint: Small businesses remain bullish for 2023

Despite economic headwinds, small business owners in Worcester and elsewhere are confident in their abilities to manage their businesses through difficult times. According to new Bank of America research, business owners are feeling pressure around inflation and supply chain issues, but the majority surveyed (76%) feel well-positioned for a strong year.

A headshot of John Sundborg
PHOTO | John Sundborg
John Sundborg is senior relationship manager for business banking in Worcester for Bank of America.

Entrepreneurs are monitoring a handful of challenges to their business plans in 2023, expressing the most concern around inflation, commodities prices, and a potential recession. However, more than half of business owners (56%) reported higher revenue in 2022 than in 2021, and the majority (65%) expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months. Additionally, 82% of entrepreneurs say they intend to obtain funding for their business in the year ahead, up from 70% last spring.

Here are three of the most significant insights, trends, and obstacles businesses should be prepared to face this year:

Labor: 52% of business owners say labor shortages are impacting their business, and 21% reported customer losses due to labor issues.They are adopting new strategies to retain and attract talent. Over the past 12 months, 51% of business owners implemented additional perks and benefits.

Growth: Entrepreneurs will need to be creative to grow their businesses over the coming year and tapping into the latest digital tools and resources can help; 80% of business owners digitally optimized their businesses last year by adopting new tools and technologies, and 49% of business owners plan to incorporate automation and artificial intelligence tools in 2023. Entrepreneurs are also using digital tools to help them stay organized, reach new customers, and implement sustainable business tactics.

Setting the standard: The last three years have forced business owners to adopt a nimble mindset as they try to stay a step ahead. Entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their business operations over the course of 2023 should consider implementing the following principles of an adaptable business model:

1) Be flexible: Today’s business owners are equally creative, optimistic, practical, and aggressive about the business goals they set and where their business is headed. Business owners should review their plans and remain open to reshaping their direction.

2) Be measurable: By setting specific and measurable goals, business owners will be able to determine the effectiveness of their strategies and identify areas where their plans can improve.

3) Be open to learning: Business owners who commit to learning new skills will be able to better adapt to new challenges. By connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and partners, entrepreneurs can gain valuable knowledge on how to better their business.

John Sundborg is senior relationship manager for business banking in Worcester for Bank of America.

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