As a web developer or designer, predicting key sectors and design trends for 2023 is crucial to stay ahead.
Shifts in consumer behavior and global challenges in the post-pandemic landscape are fuelling a myriad of new business trends and innovations. With change comes opportunity, brimming with potential for those ready to take advantage of these new trends.
Themes like virtual assistance and financial services signify the global trend to optimize resources on a constrained budget. Meanwhile, the popularity of virtual fitness and dropshipping shows how much people value convenience, flexibility, and autonomy, especially after quarantines and lockdowns. Generative AI models now do everything from inventing new musical instruments to creating a Super Mario chatbot, and cannabis law reforms across the globe are seeing retail sales surge and opening the door to startups with fresh ideas.
For creatives, these innovations translate into new opportunities and business ideas to design interactive websites, cutting-edge user interfaces, and engaging digital experiences that capture the essence and energy of these sectors. As you gear up for 2023, consider our list of booming fields. While these ideas aren’t shortcuts to success, diving into these industries could position you at the forefront of demand.
7 small business ideas to consider in 2023
1. AI-powered businesses
The AI market is poised to increase an astonishing 20 times in value by 2030, reaching over $1 trillion and redefining multiple industries. Hundreds of generative AI startups are refining their offerings and products and starting to compete for market share, so it’s a great time to jump in if you want a competitive advantage in the future.
With so many startups jostling for market share, finding the right niche is crucial. Many AI businesses help individuals or businesses streamline certain processes. Gamma AI, for example, creates presentations, slide decks, and websites that users can adjust using a chat function. Machinet offers an AI-powered coding assistant, Platic provides AI transcription services, and OpenLead combines AI with sales databases to curate tailored lead lists.
Other AI businesses combine technology with niche expertise. Videa Health is an example of this expertise in dentistry, Binomix focuses on pathology, and Seamless Studio integrates with design. Use your unique expertise to craft tailored AI design solutions, like automated typography optimization and logo creation, for various market needs.
2. Virtual fitness
The pandemic introduced many people to home workouts; their convenience and flexibility ensure their continued popularity. As a result, experts predict the virtual fitness sector will grow by 31.2% annually over the next nine years, potentially reaching $187.8 billion.
Leveraging his bodybuilding achievements, Chris Bumstead launched a polished and cheekily branded app named “CBum Fitness” that's garnering rave reviews. You don’t need to be an exercise guru to benefit from the booming virtual fitness trend, however. The industry’s expansion reveals a growing demand for home workout gear, fitness app creation, copywriting, and fitness website design.
3. Virtual assistants
With professionals increasingly leaning toward cost-effective solutions for administrative tasks, there’s a growing demand for virtual and executive fitness platforms. Experts forecast this virtual assistant market to climb annually at 37.29%, culminating in a $26.9 billion valuation in just four years.
To position yourself at the forefront of digital transformation, consider diversifying by crafting platforms for freelance virtual assistants like Rosalia. Alternatively, creating intuitive user interfaces for an online business like Airdesk, which bridges companies with global assistant talent, can be a promising avenue.
As the regulations around cannabis use relax worldwide, demand for medical, legal, and recreational cannabis grows. Even with price adjustments weeding out some inefficient producers, statistics predict the legal cannabis industry to increase at a compelling 14.95% annually, reaching a market volume of $103 billion by 2028.
Beyond traditional retail offerings like Huue’s innovative cannabis vapes, business opportunities include more than just the plant. There are already some specialized services for cannabis, like supply chain and packaging service New World Packaging and strategic consulting firm Maconha. This product ecosystem also calls for bespoke cannabis web solutions and ecommerce platforms tapping into the digital-first consumer trend. By understanding the unique needs and preferences of cannabis consumers, you can carve a niche for yourself in a rapidly expanding and lucrative market.
Dropshipping, a new trend where suppliers ship products sold online directly to customers, is gaining popularity. Dropshippers don’t have to deal with physical inventory or the logistics of shipping themselves. Instead, suppliers deliver dropshipped products directly to customers. This method reduces overhead costs, allowing them to allocate more resources to marketing and enhancing customer service.
Yet, the challenges with dropshipping are plenty. Those venturing into the business still have to create their own brand, marketing strategy, and business plan, which often require more effort than affiliate marketing or influencer marketing. To navigate the early stages, many novice dropshippers recruit the services of a freelancer designer on Upwork or contact a dedicated dropshipping support company like Dropscale. But with stiff competition and many ventures faltering early on — some estimates suggest 80% to 90% fail in the first year — the stakes are high.
Success hinges on the right product choices, trustworthy suppliers, and patience. But with challenge comes opportunity; the dropshipping market is hungry for polished, user-friendly sites, memorable logos, and attractive packaging that can give emerging dropshippers a competitive edge.
6. Financial services
As the cost of living rises, so does the demand for budgeting assistance, financial planning, and sound investment advice. Other financial and finance-adjacent services like bookkeeping, financial analysis, and logistics are also likely to experience growth in the coming years.
Financial service business options include financial advice teams like Chester Rose Financial Planning and personalized investment guidance from firms like Green Investor. If you don’t have a finance background and don’t want to retrain, you could team up with specialists to make a budgeting app like YNAB or Diane Money or consider designing intuitive dashboards or website templates tailored for financial institutions. You could also pinpoint unmet needs in the financial sector, like financial consulting firm WINii that caters to women and non-binary people, to carve your niche.
Capitalizing on skills shortages can unlock lucrative business opportunities. The cybersecurity market is a prime example — it's on track to swell 13.8% annually, reaching a $424.97 billion valuation in seven years. Given the significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals and increasing cyberattacks, B2B solutions that protect small and medium-sized enterprises are in high demand. This industry growth also amplifies demand for web designs adept at articulating the complexities of cybersecurity solutions to prospective clients.
Whether you’re already versed in cybersecurity or considering a career pivot, there’s vast potential for swift success here. Many businesses seeking both cost-efficiency and expertise will partner with specialized firms like Sygnia, watchTowr, and Servicepipe rather than create an in-house team. Such collaboration opens access to expert knowledge and industry-leading tools without the overhead and training costs associated with an internal department, emphasizing the opportunity within the cybersecurity landscape.
There’s no shortage of affordable education for those eyeing a career transition. For example, you can complete a self-paced online course like the Google cybersecurity certificate for as little as $49/month.
As small businesses change, so do their websites
Every sector, traditional or innovative, needs a stellar website to succeed. A well-crafted website forms the backbone of brand identity, attracting organic traffic, building brand recognition and awareness, and increasing conversions. With Webflow, you can create high–performance sites tailored to each client’s unique needs, enhancing user experience and supporting diverse ecommerce demands.