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Small business news & trends: 13 January 2023

Small Business advice · 3 min read

Small Business News: 13 January 2023

This week’s Small Business News looks at the latest e-commerce news from around thThis week’s SBN roundup includes the US small business statistics inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, and why TikTok deserves a place within your marketing strategy.e world including shoppers’ main holiday concerns, and the start-up helping marketplace sellers personalize their storefronts.

Over 9 out of 10 US businesses are “small”

Thinking of starting your own business in 2023? Forbes’ recent roundup of key US small business statistics1 may just inspire you…

Among the figures the business magazine released included:

  • As of 2022, 99.9% of businesses across the US are small businesses – that’s a total of 33.2 million
  • Over 8 out of 10 of these small businesses have no employees – that is to say, they are run by a single owner
  • Labor remains the biggest cost for small businesses, at an average of 70% of their spending. This is followed by inventory (17-25%)
  • Perhaps most surprisingly, nearly a third of businesses don’t have a website, despite the fact over three-quarters of shoppers will visit a business’s website before its physical location

Looking to join the entrepreneurs? Be sure to check out our 7 business growth strategies for small businesses to help you realize your ambitions.

TikTok a “gold mine” for small businesses

Planning where to allocate your marketing dollars this quarter? TikTok should be on your radar. According to Capterra’s 2022 TikTok Marketing Survey2, Gen-Z’s favorite platform is yielding positive returns for SMEs.  

The research, conducted in November, found that 78% of small businesses that have run ads on TikTok have realized a positive ROI – the majority within just six months. As a result, 52% plan to increase marketing spend on the platform this year.

“According to our data, at least one in 10 small businesses using TikTok has gone viral on the app,” a Capterra release said3. “Millions of views are within reach for businesses with great content.”

“Leaning into your brand’s unique voice will help you get the most out of your TikTok content, whether it’s organic or sponsored. Find whatever makes your business stand out from the sea of generic calls-to-action, be it an unconventional use for your product, slick tutorial content, or your marketing team’s wicked sense of humor.”

Looking to grow cross-border? Digital payment solutions are the path to success

PYMNTS has recently released a report examining the role of digital payments in helping SMBs overcome challenges as they expand internationally.

International B2B Payments: A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Digital Businesses4, which is available to download now, says: “When an SMB launches a cross-border enterprise, the chosen payment services provider should have access to a network that permits seamless, rapid region-to-region growth.”

“Slow or erratic payments processes can cause credit issues and damage long-term business relationships. That makes payments digitization critical for SMBs seeking to launch or grow abroad.”

However, the report notes that currently, only 23% of small businesses find their cross-border payment solutions very or extremely satisfactory.

New year, same green priorities

With 2023 underway, e-commerce research platform Digital Commerce 360 has released its predictions for the year ahead. Unsurprisingly, the hot topic of the moment – sustainability – will continue to be a focus.  

“Consumers are thinking about how their spending habits affect the environment. More than ever, they want details about how merchants are producing their products,” the company said5. Sellers will need to be transparent about their efforts if they are to avoid accusations of greenwashing. “Retailers can no longer claim they are sustainable without giving supporting evidence.”

In addition, Digital Commerce 360 tips Shopify for big growth. “Shopify seems primed to take on Amazon but is shying away from labeling itself as a marketplace. Still, all the pieces are there: [Shopify] has an app, a payment platform, access to inventory status. It even had plans to do fulfillment.” Watch this space…

And finally…

Did you know that this coming Monday is “Blue Monday”? The 16th has been allocated the gloomy nickname as it’s when the combination of bad weather, post-Christmas blues, and long winter nights really get people down. But, for savvy businesses, it presents a sales opportunity! As what better time to cheer customers up with a special discount code?

This tip is just one of many included in our exclusive 2023 commerce calendar. It’s packed full of the important dates you should you be making a note of in order to give your business a boost. There’s the global buying bonanzas like Black Friday and China’s Singles’ Day, plus plenty of industry conferences and expos where you can network and upskill. In short, the calendar should be your go-to guide as you plan out your year. Take a look, here.

1 - Forbes, December 2022

2 & 3 - Capterra, January 2023

4 - International B2B Payments: A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Digital Businesses, PYMNTS, 2022

5 - Digital Commerce 360, December 2022

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