Three tech trends small business owners should look out for in 2023

2023 has a lot of change in store, and small businesses have so much on their plates it can be difficult to keep up.

Three tech trends small business owners should look out for in 2023

‘Tis the season. No, not for the holidays – those have been packaged up and put away for another year – but to look ahead at the key trends that will be impacting small businesses in the next 12 months and beyond. 

2023 has a lot of change in store, and small businesses have so much on their plates it can be difficult to keep up. Here, we break down some of the trends that can help you thrive in the months and years ahead. 

Streamline processes with embedded finance 

Financial services have evolved hugely over the past decade, driven by a number of factors, including the demand from businesses and consumers for fast, efficient access to financial products in the platforms and tools they already use. 

We see this evolution continuing, with technologies like embedded finance and open banking continuing to gain momentum and becoming even more important for small businesses.  

We’re seeing embedded finance change how we engage with money, streamlining financial solutions into everyday business processes. Take, for example,  Xero adding a ‘pay now’ button to invoices with Stripe and GoCardless. 

This is a boon in terms of efficiency, but it also empowers small businesses to get paid faster by customers – a vital step, as small businesses continue to face the late payments crisis, which has plagued them for so long. 

Be aware of responsible data use

As a small business owner, you’ll no doubt be aware of the transformative power of data. 

The data generated by customers and businesses can provide the insight you need to make more informed decisions, achieve more innovative product and service development, and help you seize new opportunities. And there’s plenty of data to go round – by 2025, individuals and companies around the world will produce an estimated 463 exabytes of data each day. But it must be used responsibly. 

While data can be used to your advantage, it’s completely understandable that small businesses don’t have the time or resources to fully interrogate the full data picture – including consent for data sharing, collection, protection and privacy. But this is an absolute must, especially with increasing regulatory, legal, and reputational risks for companies that misuse customer data. 

Now is the time for small business owners – perhaps with the help of their accounting and bookkeeping advisors – to identify the right frameworks for their business, educate themselves on compliance obligations, and implement responsible practices. 

Realise the potential of AI

Over recent years, AI has played a more prominent part in helping businesses improve processes and decision-making.  Its rich potential has been discussed for many years, but seeing more and more everyday use cases has confirmed its place as a key differentiating factor for small businesses. 

However, many small businesses are struggling to get to grips with AI, either due to a lack of understanding of its potential or an inability to dedicate the required time to manage it alongside their already-hefty workloads. 

But the opportunity is worth the effort. AI can provide small businesses with insight of what’s to come and remove manual labour to help save time – whether that’s predicting cash flow based on internal business and external data points, automating parts of back-office business processes, or helping them understand the best times to contact customers based on previous behaviour. 

Future changes

There are a huge number of new, exciting technologies that emerge each year, so understanding which ones are right for your business – and actually satisfy your needs – can be a tricky proposition. 

In order to make the most of the benefits promised by the above trends, there must be a drive to provide small businesses and their advisors with the educational resources they need to embrace them effectively.  Armed with the knowledge to separate hype from true potential, your business can be unstoppable. 

Alex von Schirmeister
Alex von Schirmeister

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