Small business predictions for 2023

Melanie Richardson


Small businesses have faced a variety of challenges in 2022 with the cost of living crisis, soaring energy bills, supply chain issues and staff shortages. What might 2023 bring and what trends can you capitalise on? This article will outline a collection of predictions to help you and your business keep ahead of the game.

Rising costs will continue to pose a threat

With the Energy Bills relief scheme due to end on 31 March, rising costs contributing to overheads will continue to add pressure onto businesses bottom line. There is the possibility that the government may step in to help the most vulnerable businesses however this has not yet been decided.

More side businesses will crop up

Out of necessity, we may begin to see the trend for ‘side hustles’ continue. These are businesses set up alongside a full time job or the self employed looking for ways to increase income. If you’re interested in setting up your own side hustle, you can take a look at our recent PDF download that will give you all the information that you need.

Possibility of late payment legislation for small businesses

The government has launched a review into the long-standing issue of late payments for small businesses. Launched on 3 December, the late payment review hopes to ease cash flow pressure for SMEs. Results are due in early 2023 so keep an eye out as this may be crucial to cashflow over the next year.

Keep up with consumer paying trends

Key payment trends for 2023 include social commerce, digital wallets and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). According to research by Shopify, digital wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay will account for 30% of all POS payments in 2023 and Buy Now Pay Later will account for about 24% of ecommerce transactions by 2026.


Make sure that your business is set up to take payments as technology moves on…

Wellbeing trend continues apace

The winter months start to take their toll and with the macro economic environment contributing to further difficulties, mental and physical wellbeing is a key trend again this year. Not only for business owners but staff as well…it may be a good topic to keep in mind as the recession begins to bite, stress levels take their toll, so be sure to look after yourself and if you are in the wellbeing industry, look for significant growth opportunities.

Tax changes

There were numerous changes and u turns with regards to tax policies in 2022.  Here is the current state of play:

  • the amount you can earn tax-free is frozen at £12,570 (until 2028)
  • the additional rate income tax threshold will reduce to £125,140 in April 2023
  • the capital gains tax exemption will be cut from £12,300 to £6,000 in 2023-24, then to £3,000 in 2024-2025
  • there’s a new penalty points system for VAT customers who submit late (this will be implemented in 2024)
  • business rates are changing – but there’s a freeze on multipliers for 2023-24
  • alcohol duty freeze has been extended – any duty changes will be announced in the Spring Statement and won't come in until 1 August 2023

Remember that the self assessment deadline is coming up on the 31 January.

Affordable sustainability

‘Deloitte reports that consumers are increasingly choosing to live more sustainably and buy just what they need, driven by concern around the climate crisis and the rising cost of living. They’re also choosing brands that share their ethical and environmental values and ditching those who don’t. Especially when it comes to the products bought most often, such as food, drink, clothing and household and beauty products.’

ESG or Environmental, social, governance continues to be top of mind for customers. They are looking for durable products that can be repaired and reused as the cost-of-living crisis continues. Affordable sustainability therefore will become a key theme for businesses wanting to grow this year.

How we can help

If you are looking to grow your current business or start a new side hustle, our team at Swindells is only a phone call away.

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