There is little doubt that small businesses have been among the entities hit the hardest by the challenges of the past two years and today’s raging inflation. But as the economy continues to bounce back and consumers focus more on supporting their community, UK enterprises face a unique opportunity for growth and business investments.
Nonetheless, choosing where and how to invest funds for maximum returns remains a challenge shared by most business owners. Luckily, the trends that have emerged during the past months offer guidance about the best small business investment opportunities.
Learn more about the top business investments for 2023 in this guide by the Chamber of Business.
Transformative Technologies & Automation
Measures such as the mini-budget and the business investment relief have helped businesses across the UK raise funds, minimise expenditures, and survive the pandemic-induced economic crisis. But now, these might no longer be enough to maintain a competitive edge. So, what does?
Although every business is unique in nature and size, investing in transformative technologies such as AI, the internet of things (IoT), and fast 5G connection can support the automation of resource-intensive processes, thus cutting costs and optimising operations.
Supply Chain Efficiency & Security
According to a report published by the Havas Media Group, consumer trust in brands is at an all-time low, and nearly 55% of brands are seen as untrustworthy. In the meanwhile, estimations released by the OECD based on 2019 statistics show that the trade of fake goods accounts for over $464 billion a year, or 2.5% of the world trade.
Even though the statistics already show a bleak picture, these figures are only bound to increase as the global supply chain continues to stretch thin. Indeed, the global production and distribution network is more layered and far-reaching than it has ever been, making it more prone to fraudulent activity and counterfeiting.
Luckily, brands can use today’s technology to gain greater visibility into their supply chains and guarantee product authenticity to their users. Some of the technologies worth investing in include RFID and NFC labels, which are paired with blockchain infrastructures and IoT devices to track, trace, and monitor products throughout their journey from development to consumption.
As the same study by the Havas Media Group highlighted, nearly 40% of consumers aren’t satisfied with companies’ sustainability strategies, and over 70% of people believe that brands will not be able to deliver on their promises.
On the other hand, when looking into how to smartly invest in a business, it is important to understand that consumers are embracing sustainable buying behaviour as never before. In turn, investing in sustainable development and green growth can help your brand fulfil its triple bottom line, which includes Planet, People, and Profit.
More Engaging & Immersive User Experiences
Defining and improving the customer experience is an integral part of branding, sales, and marketing. However, in the race to provide always more engaging and immersive experiences, it can be hard for small businesses to maintain their competitive edge. Luckily, seizing the right investing opportunities can help.
Depending on the nature and goal of your business, you might consider implementing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality tools (for example, to create virtual tours of real estate properties). Other investments worth considering include appointing a chief experience officer (CXO) and tapping into the opportunities provided by the advent of the Metaverse.
Hybrid Work Models & the International Talent Pool
Although the hire rate has slowed down in 2022 due to rising inflation, no business can thrive without the support of experienced professionals and talented specialists. So, how can small businesses strike the right balance?
Investing in hybrid work models and remote communication solutions, as well as strengthened cybersecurity measures, can help businesses of all sizes adapt to the changing job market and tap into an international talent pool. Alternatively, companies operating on a smaller budget might consider the benefits of outsourcing and maintaining a lightweight framework for their organisation.
Employee Training & Upskilling
According to a report published in 2022 by Gallup, some of the key aspects employers look for in their new company include increased benefits, job security, and hybrid work opportunities. But, above all, top talents are looking for an employer who is able to provide personal and professional development opportunities.
That is why it is critical for any business to invest in training and upskilling plans for their teams. Although your employees might have been recently hired or have performed well over the past years, don’t forget that over 50% of the workforce is expected to need upskilling in the next few years!
Finding Business Investments & Opportunities
If you are looking to learn more about how to invest in a business or need guidance for your next finance investment, the Chamber of Business – and the team of business experts behind it – should be your go-to resource. Learn more today!