We asked EO members to look ahead in 2023 and identify trends they see for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship overall. We asked them to share the skills, mindset or tools that entrepreneurs would be wise to adopt to meet the moment. Here’s what they shared.
I see an uptick in pitching via pre-recorded video. We used Loom to pre-record our pitch and share it with potential investors. It’s a great way to personalize a pitch deck and share it with interested parties. I see this as a new trend that will only grow over time.
— Maureen Brown, EO Austin, co-founder and CEO, Mosie Baby
Cutting expenses in the wrong place
Economic pressures, supply chain delays and employee issues will cause leaders to look for places to cut costs. The big mistake is if they cut in the areas of customer service and customer experience, leaving them vulnerable to competition and eroding market share.
Unfortunately, if history repeats itself—and I predict it will—many companies and brands will make this mistake. Hopefully, your company isn’t one of them. One of the worst places to cut costs is anywhere the customer will notice.
— Shep Hyken, EO St. Louis, professional speaker and author, Hyken.com
A travel boom
Within the travel industry, we are seeing more purposeful travel—longer stays, with more meetings crammed into those days away. And with lockdowns now a thing of the past, we predict travel to also increase from 2022 levels which is a great sign for the industry and for business. We’ve missed face-to-face interaction for too long; building relationships is key to winning more business in 2023. Travel is going to be one of the biggest investments companies will make, and it will be well worth it.
— David Fastuca, EO Melbourne, CMO and co-founder, Locomote
Conscious entrepreneurship and adaptability
I’m hearing a lot about conscious entrepreneurship, the act of prioritizing socially and environmentally conscious values for the company and its employees, which starts in the early stages of forming a business.
Rapid advancements in technology—including artificial intelligence, IoT technology and blockchain—make it crucial for entrepreneurs to stay informed about technological advancements. Being flexible and adaptable will be key for entrepreneurs entering this climate.
With an increase in remote work and cyberattacks on the rise, particularly ransomware attacks, prioritizing cybersecurity is key.
— Benjamin Katz, EO Los Angeles, CEO, Happy Head
Watch the insect industry
In 40 years as a second-generation insect farmer, I’ve never seen this much interest in insects. Insects will be instrumental in the pending global food (human) and feed (animal) deficit. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in this sector for commercial-scale facilities. There is also a groundswell of small farm startups, especially in developing nations, where farmers such as 2022 GSEA Global Finalist Arnold Shoko can convert biowaste streams into feed and fertilizer.
— David Fluker, EO Louisiana, president and co-owner, Fluker Farms
I recently read a report by Alan Murray, CEO of Fortune Media, that top executives in charge of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives show no signs of retreating despite talks of an economic downturn. I, too, believe ESGs are here to stay and will become more—not less—fundamental in the way companies operate.
But, while ESGs are a step in the right direction, they are typically just a side initiative rather than a central part of a business’s operating system. In 2023, I believe that stakeholder capitalism will grow exponentially as it offers a true modern-day business model that can be transformational if properly integrated into the organization’s processes.
— Kent Gregoire, US East Bridge chapter, founder and CEO, Symphony Advantage
Temptation to regress
Entrepreneurs shouldn’t worry about the recession; they should worry about what the recession will tempt them into doing. Slowing sales and dwindling customer bases will tempt entrepreneurs into regressing their businesses and themselves by pouring more of their time back into the business. Or, they may regress into traditional ways of work by mandating employees back into the office, even though so many employees love their new-found style of remote work.
How can you fight the temptation to regress?
- Prepare for winter—hold some reserve cash to ride out bumps.
- Tap into the mentality of Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek and decide whether maintaining your team is more valuable than your own take-home pay.
- While employees are there to make your life as a business owner easier, it’s even more important to think about how you can make your team’s lives easier. If they like remote work, maybe you need to evolve as a leader.
- Focus on creating more valuable offerings to customers by reinventing what you provide.
— Richard Phu, EO Sydney, founder and CEO, Outsourcing Angel
Truth will prevail
As a professional business and society intuitive, I see the following coming in 2023:
- More people than ever will start businesses due to the negative publicity of many companies that weren’t telling the truth about past misdeeds or failures. Small businesses will need to mentor others. This will result in community successes.
- Proactive mental health and spiritual practices that are based on staying calm and accessing the higher truth will be a foundation for success and survival in these tumultuous times.
- Money will be available for businesses that are able to handle the higher truth of this time, without going into the drama of global events designed to bring out the higher truth. For those that go into fear or that aren’t ready for higher truth, it will be a struggle with money until they are ready.
— Kira Leskew, EO Toronto, Professional Business Psychic, The Eagle Institute
Opportunity for startups
As a fashionpreneur and strategist, I work closely with early-stage entrepreneurs and startups. It gives me immense pleasure to see India emerging as the third-largest ecosystem for startups globally.
The coming year will offer new, innovative avenues to make an entrepreneur’s journey more worthwhile, provided we adopt technological advances while staying rooted in our vision and guiding principles. Here’s what I see:
1. Accelerated digital transformation. Be it a product or service, technology and digital tools add to enhanced reach, innovation and overall customer experience.
2. Continued focus on sustainability. Investors and consumers prefer businesses that prioritize ecological impact and sustainability.
3. Immersive customer experience. Never underestimate the power of social media and its effective utilization to provide rich dividends at a fraction of conventional marketing costs.
— Badal Saboo, EO Pune, CEO and managing director, Pune Fashion Week