8 Creative Business Ideas to Consider in 2023
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With a new year comes new opportunities for small business owners to consider new business ideas to spur growth and opportunity. Good business owners know how to change their business model when they need to and are always willing to consider new ideas in the realms of marketing, inventory, production, and hiring. Here are ten small business ideas to bring your business to a new level in 2023.
1. Implement a loyalty program or rewards system for your customers.
You’ve got loyal customers for your online store already. So why not create a new loyalty program to incentivize repeat business? Think of how successful Prime has been for Amazon, for example.
Implementing a loyalty program or rewards system can provide several benefits for any type of business. It can help increase customer retention and loyalty, drive sales, and improve customer data. A well-designed loyalty program can also give small businesses a competitive advantage in a crowded market when other companies aren’t offering any benefits for repeat customers.
There are several ways loyalty programs can work. If your business is one that naturally draws repeat customers – think cafes, restaurants, or vehicle repair facilities – a simple punch card can work. Buy nine coffees, get a tenth free. Eat ten entrees, and get a dessert.
That’s less effective for small businesses offering services or goods that aren’t needed very often. If you’re selling real estate, a punch card isn’t doing anyone any good.
There are still reward systems available for companies like that. Some companies reward customers with increasingly large discounts if they spend more. That’s an easy way to make customers feel special for making large purchases.
2. Offer personalized products or services.
Many lucrative online business ideas offer personalized products or services tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of individual customers, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction. Customers are more likely to be satisfied with a product or service that meets their specific needs and preferences.
In addition, personalized products or services can also help small businesses increase customer loyalty by making customers feel valued and appreciated. Customers are more likely to return to a business that offers personalized products or services and may even be willing to pay a premium for them.
There are a number of personalized products available to create for your customers.
Custom-made clothing: Small clothing boutiques and tailors can create custom-fit clothing for customers, including tailored suits, dresses, and shirts.
Personalized jewelry: Jewelry makers can create unique pieces that incorporate the initials, birthdates, or special symbols of the customer.
Animal products: Pet owners are always looking for new ways to show off their pets. One quick scroll through Etsy shows hundreds of paintings, t-shirts, mugs, and more, all revolving around pets. Can your business incorporate animals?
Customized home décor: Small businesses specializing in home décor can offer custom-made items such as curtains, cushion covers, and wall art with the customer’s choice of colors, patterns, and images.
Custom-made beauty products: Small skincare and cosmetics companies can create personalized products, such as creams and serums, based on the customer’s skin type and concerns.
On top of that, there are services you could offer. If you run a custom furniture shop, you could offer not only custom furniture but also workshops on how to build matching pieces.
3. Introduce new product lines or services that meet the needs of underserved markets.
There are many business opportunities for high-demand services in underserved communities. A small business looking to introduce new product lines or services to underserved markets should first research the market to identify the specific needs and wants of its target audience. This involves gathering information on demographics, buying habits, and purchasing power.
Conducting focus groups with potential customers is also a valuable step in this process, as it allows the business to test its product ideas and get feedback on what customers would like to see.
Based on the feedback received from focus groups and market tests, the business should then adjust and refine its product or service to better meet the needs of its target market. You may need to seek out certifications or other proof of your abilities and offerings.
The business should also develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes both traditional and digital marketing tactics to reach its target audience and effectively communicate the benefits of the new product or service. Building relationships with organizations, groups, and influencers that serve the target market can also help the business expand its reach and credibility.
Finally, it is important for the business to continuously monitor and evaluate the success of its new product or service and make changes as needed to better meet the needs of its target market. This will help ensure that the business remains competitive and continues to meet the changing needs of its target audience over time.
4. Consider implementing a subscription-based model for your products or services.
Many types of small businesses can consider implementing a subscription-based model, including software companies, which can offer customers access to their products and services on a recurring basis, often with a lower upfront cost.
Retail companies can set up regular deliveries of commonly-used products, and businesses that provide services could offer discounts on subscriptions. If you run a landscaping company, for example, you could offer discounts for regular work.
Overall, a subscription-based model can be a successful strategy for small businesses that provide ongoing products or services and can create recurring revenue streams, build customer loyalty, and offer customers a more predictable and convenient purchasing experience.
5. Consider partnering with other businesses to offer joint products or services.
Here are some ways a small business can partner with another small business to drive sales:
Cross-promotion: Partnering with a complementary business to promote each other’s products or services to your respective customer bases.
Joint marketing campaigns: Collaborating on marketing campaigns, such as co-branded events, joint email newsletters, or social media campaigns, to reach a wider audience. A restaurant and photography studio could partner to offer an online course in food photography, for example. This can be particularly effective if the skill sets of two business owners mesh well and compound on one another.
Affiliate marketing: Setting up an affiliate marketing program in which each business promotes the other’s products or services in exchange for a commission on sales.
Product bundling: Offering a bundle of products or services from each business to customers, making it easier for them to purchase both products and increasing the perceived value of the bundle.
Co-branded products: Developing co-branded products that incorporate elements of each business’ offerings, creating a new product line that benefits both businesses.
Referral programs: Implementing referral programs in which customers receive incentives for referring new business to the partnering company.
Partnering with another small business can provide access to new customer bases, increase brand exposure, and create opportunities for mutual growth and success.
6. Revamp and Rebrand Your Website
Whether you’re a cleaning services company or do full-time personal training, any profitable business needs to have a great-looking website.
Nowadays, that’s easier than ever. You don’t need to be a graphic design expert, app development specialist, or web developer. All you need to do is seek out any of the high-quality website-building companies like Squarespace or Wix. These website providers often come with virtual assistants to help you pick the right design and hundreds of templates to find the right look.
Sometimes the best small business ideas are the simplest ones: a bit of basic web design is like throwing a new coat of paint onto a wall. It can make your digital presence feel entirely new.
7. Invest in SEO
You need customers to get to your revamped store, right? No lucrative business can exist without people finding it. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of doing whatever you can to put your website in a neon vest so that search engines see it quickly. If you run an Italian food truck in Des Moines, you want your business to pop up immediately in the Google results when people search for “Italian food Des Moines.”
You could hire a marketing agency or even freelance writing professionals to create content that can drive people to your website. You can also use the tools that come with your website builder. But you don’t need to hire bloggers or a whole consulting business to improve your SEO. Sometimes boosting your SEO visibility is as simple as making sure your website’s pages and images are correctly formatted and labeled. No matter how you choose to attack it, make sure customers can find you when they’re searching for local businesses in their area.
8. Try a new social media platform
Sure, you’ve done well with advertising your company on Facebook. But it’s 2023, and social media management isn’t as simple as it used to be. There are new opportunities to be found by creating content for other platforms that reach other audiences.
TikTok, for example, is the new king of advertising. The New York Times projected that the short-form video app is expected to earn over $10 billion in advertising in 2022. Why is that? It’s because TikTok is wildly effective at putting videos in front of the right audience, and many of these videos are inexpensive and simple. You can dedicate minimal time and not a lot of money toward creating TikToks which are then put in front of an ideal audience to advertise your goods or services.
There are other ways to try new platforms. You may consider paid advertising with influencers to get content in front of potential customers or start a YouTube channel to show off the behind-the-scenes of your production process.
Branching out into new spaces is likely to be a key part of a perfect business marketing strategy in 2023. Think about ways and platforms for getting your message in front of the right potential customers.
9. Consider offering financing options or payment plans to make it easier for customers to afford your products or services.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) are growing more and more popular with consumers, and if you’re not offering them, you might be losing out on business. You’re starting to see them offline and online. The industry is expected to be as big as $20 billion by 2028.
With companies like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm, consumers are able to make interest-free payments on purchases. Smaller interest-free payments incentivize consumers to make more and larger purchases: 44% of surveyed shoppers claim they would have abandoned their purchase were it not for the installment option, according to their research.
Applying to be a vendor for these companies can be done through their respective websites. Most allow integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
10. Start a new business
The new year is also a time when many seasoned entrepreneurs and business beginners decide to start new businesses. Sometimes those new businesses are side hustles on top of an already-existing company. Others take up completely different companies. For first-timers, starting their own business is nerve-wracking. But every successful small business was once a nervous startup, so here are a few simple steps to follow to get started.
Conduct market research: Research the market to determine the feasibility of your business idea, identify your target market, and evaluate the competition.
Develop a business plan: A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, strategies, and financial projections for your business. It is essential for securing funding, attracting investors, and guiding decision-making.
Choose a business structure: Decide on the legal structure of your business, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. This will determine your personal liability, tax implications, and compliance requirements.
Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Determine the licenses and permits required for your specific business and obtain them from the relevant government agencies.
Set up your business operations: This includes securing a location, setting up equipment and supplies, and hiring employees if necessary.
Market and promote your business: Develop a marketing plan to reach your target market and promote your business through a variety of channels, such as social media, advertising, and public relations.
Starting a new business can be challenging, but with proper planning, research, and preparation, it can also be a fulfilling and successful endeavor. It is important to seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs, business consultants, and legal professionals to ensure that all aspects of your business are properly established.
11. Fund a new project
One last idea for 2023 is to seek out a bit of funding to tackle a project you’ve been considering. Whether you’re looking for a merchant cash advance to bolster working capital in the short term, a business line of credit to make sure you’ve always got cash available, or any other type of small business loan, it’s often a great idea to finally buckle down and handle whatever project, renovation, or purchase you’ve been considering.