Our 2023 business & community predictions

Lara Sheldrake

In this blog we focus on the exciting opportunities we have at our fingertips, when it comes to innovation, creation and growing your business.

Read on for our 2023 trends and predictions (plus tips!), to support you on your entrepreneurial journey.

#1 Intimacy

With an abundance of social media platforms there has never been a better time to be discovered by and connect with your ideal audience. But what next? People crave intimacy and connection online, and there’s no better way to achieve this than on closed platforms. To create a more intimate relationship with your audience, consider a platform which will allow your audience to become part of a community that can connect, share and learn from one another (without relying on you!).

#2 Community

If you want to build a deeper relationship with your audience and potential clients or customers, this should be your No.1 focus for 2023. From having direct insight into their experiences and motivations to building trust with your "super fans", building a community will supercharge your business. Focus on the value you have to offer (what's in it for them?), your mission and why you're doing what you do. Finally consider the content you want to create, as this will be a key way to provide value and build a connection with your audience.

#3 Multi-hyphenate

A term coined in the 70's but re-defined by Emma Gannon back in 2017 is just as relevant today. Being a multi-hyphenate (or a multi-creator) is a great way to ensure financial security, as well as explore a variety of passions and projects. The creator economy is booming, and every single person who creates anything from having a small business to writing an email to creating a product, has an infinite earning potential. However, the mainstream platforms will limit your earning potential, so focus on creating multiple revenue streams and defining a business model that allows you the freedom and creative autonomy to earn money on your terms.

#4 Balance

2021 was a year in lockdown and 2022 was the year we wanted to do it all. So we went from one extreme to another and many of us ended the year exhausted and burnt out. So this year, it's about balance. Balance in our work *and* personal lives. At F&F we’ll be creating a learning environment that supports people to be the best version of themselves whilst protecting their time and prioritizing their mental health.

#5 Simplicity

The world is a noisy place both online and offline, so keeping it simple from your comms, content and business model to your customer journey and user experience, is going to be the best way to keep people's attention. If you find yourself overcomplicating things, revisit your why, the impact you have and the value in the work that you do. Also, don'tunderestimate the power of talking to your community and *listening* to what they need. Once you've done this, are there areas in your business you can strip back? Perhaps processes that could be more streamlined? Maybe you're offering more than necessary to have the impact you want to have?

#6 Micro learning

Whether you're embracing the multi-hyphen method or simply juggling a career with nurturing your personal relationship, time is finite and now more than ever people want to protect their time and energy for the things that really matter. That's why micro learning will be a popular way to consume information from micro courses to bite-sized learning, now is the time to simplify your content and get right to the point.

#7 Founder-led brands

People connect with people, not brands. So no matter what size your business is, this year is about showing the person behind the business. Share your personality and embody your brand by showing how your business is unique and purpose driven. Focus on your story and mission as a founder, leverage your expertise by becoming a thought leader in your sector and utilise platforms like social media and podcasts to help you do this.

#8 Sustainability in business

People want to do business with brands that share their values, whether as a consumer, an employee, a supplier, or a collaborator. Focusing on your sustainability/ESG strategy will help you show everyone from investors to customers why they should choose you as a trusted partner. There are loads of government-backed support schemes available for small businesses which could help you with ESG areas such as reducing your carbon footprint and ethical leadership.

#9 Meaningful work

2022 was the year we said "bye" to work that doesn't light us up. So with that in mind, what opportunities will you be going after and saying "yes" to this year, that not only mean something to you but that the world truly needs? People will be inspired by businesses who are clear on their purpose and values. Are you clear on yours? For inspiration check out "ikigai".

#10 Don't be afraid of the Ai

With the increased use of Ai, people are concerned at what this means for their businesses (and the ethics of content creation in general). Ai is here to stay, so our advice is embrace it with caution, learn how it can be utilised in your business and get creative. Remember, Ai cannot replicate personality and the human side of us, so that will always need to be added into anything you create with Ai. We started a thread here where we discuss our experiences with it and Bev posted here on the concern around ethics. What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

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About the Author

Lara Sheldrake

Lara is a speaker, business consultant and the founder of Found & Flourish, an online network for women and non-binary people in business. Lara consults on the topics of community, business and entrepreneurship. She is on a mission to make business accessible and less lonely. Through the power of community and collaboration, Found & Flourish empowers women to upskill, connect and truly flourish.

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