Predictions for Small Businesses in 2024 and my Key Takeaways for UK Soap & Skincare Business Owners
What Are The Predictions for Small Business World in 2024
I have been carrying out a little research and these are a few observations I have taken from across the board and that seem to crop up in more than one place.
Craft Businesses Are on the Rise: In 2022 and 2023, there was a 16% increase in new craft businesses. While the specific figure for soap and skincare businesses isn't clear, it's a trend worth noting.
Youthful Entrepreneurship: The 16 to 25 age group are starting more new businesses than ever before which is brilliant. With more young individuals starting businesses, there's an increased opportunity for innovation and fresh perspectives.
An Increase in Side Hustles The side hustle trend continues to grow with estimates ranging from 16% to 65% of people considering starting their own. I appreciate this is a very wide range of people but it does demonstrate and increasing number of people are thinking along these lines.
Sustainability continues to be an important value aligning well with the values of many in the soap and skincare business. Customers are increasingly looking for businesses that prioritise eco-friendly practices
Authentic Storytelling is More Important Than Ever Authentic storytelling is gaining popularity, emphasising the importance of sharing the unique stories behind your brand. Whether it's about the source of your ingredients, your craftsmanship, or your personal journey, storytelling builds a connection with customers.
Support for Small Businesses The support for small businesses remains strong, emphasising the enduring importance of the human connection. While online giants exist, customers appreciate a personal service.
Economic Challenges Continue Despite falling inflation in 2024, the standard of living remains lower, posing some challenges for small businesses. Disposable income remains lower than in previous years.
With all of these in mind I have the following 6 takeaways that are relevant for those of us in the Soap and Skincare line of business and specifically for us solopreneurs who have to do everything ourselves.
- Craft businesses are still viable but think outside of the box. Be unique, have a niche, think longer term and have your business head on. Move away from the traditional craft events etc - 2023 has been very hit and miss at both large and small events and is no longer for viable for reliable business growth in my opinion .
- Stay on top of tech - websites, email lists, social media trends and AI. If you don’t others will especially younger business owners.. New things coming along all the time , loyalty schemes, subscriptions, gamification - you don’t have to do it all, you can’t do it all but keep an eye on trends.
- Sustainability will be come ever more important The Global Net Zero target is in 2050 which seems a long way off but will become ever more important to achieve. We are limited to what we can buy from the larger suppliers in terms of ingredients, packaging etc but we can still do our bit. Caveat - don’t make your niche plastic free products, that isn’t a niche but part of your business values.
- Be more visible - on your website, your social media, in your emails. I know this is tricky if you are not comfortable showing your face or sharing your story, but choose aspects of this so your customers know who you are. Authentic story telling in the current climate of scams and fraud plus ever growing competition it is important and your customers need to know who you are and a bit about you. Behind the scenes videos on social media are really popular if you don’t like to talk on camera. Do consider practising videoing yourself. It really does get easier.
- Costs - keep on top of these. Time is the biggest area that we overlook and time really is money. The easiest way to do this is streamline your processes. Find a way to make more in less time, be organised, don’t procrastinate and use a unit cost spreadsheet so you know exactly what each product is costing you to make and your profit margin.
- Have a strategy and goals. What do you want to achieve in 2024 and how can you do that? It is not realistic to say I want to turnover £50000 a year and give up my day job. You need to know how much of that 50k will be your net profit. Is that enough? Remember you will need to invest some profits back in to the business to enable you to grow. Assuming it is enough how much stock do you need to sell to turnover 50k? Soap, balms, body butters, shampoo bars etc? Which are the most profitable for you? Is that wholesale or retail? Is it even doable and if not how can you make creating and labelling that much stock achievable?
In conclusion, 2024 presents both challenges and opportunities for soap and skincare businesses. It is still as good a time as any to start or grow your business but it is more important than ever to think like a business owner and not a just a soap maker.
This blog is an over view of a My You Tube Video Predictions For Small Businesses in 2024 and My Takeaway From Those For Soap and Skincare Businesses