Professional Spotlight: What Business Leaders Thought of 2023 and 2024 Predictions
The Results From our Quickfire Survey of Business Leaders Are In; Here's What They Show
2023 was a rough year for doing business in most industries. Many business leaders who depend on finding clients or selling to people online, saw their leads and sales numbers drop YOY; many saw them drop for the first time since before Covid.
There were a few things that contributed to this:
Layoffs, especially from big tech companies in the first half of the year
Slow economic growth
Wars (continuing and new)
Travel rebounding (we even got the term ‘revenge travel’ this year!)
All of the above combined to mean that people were either not spending money as freely, they were buying or building less homes, or they were simply out of the country spending money on other things.
Life is more expensive these days, so people are less willing to shell out money to invest in themselves, whether it be to find a new career path or develop their leadership skills. There was also a summer slowdown for the first time since the start of the pandemic, which impacted my bottom line.
Michelle Schafer, Owner and Career Coach, Michelle Schafer Coaching, Canada
The past year was then, could perhaps be best summed up as 'conservative':
The unease on the world stage for many brands created a conservative mentality. Inflation was a driving factor for brands in deciding where they could spend their marketing budgets.
Matt Kovacs, President of Blaze PR, USA
Could the post-covid gold rush of people having lots of money in the bank, spending lots, and spending lots of time at home be over for many businesses? Especially those who had gotten used to a big jump in online sales, orders, or appointments?
Because the results of our 2023 survey of business leaders are rather interesting...
We sent out two quickfire surveys to thousands of business leaders who subscribe to receive our free interview opportunities. Although the majority of respondents were in the USA, we got a decent spread of responses from places as far afield as New Zealand, Greece, and the Carribean.
Given what we know already about 2023, you might guess that the mood would be generally downbeat. However, we found widespread optimism about both this year and the coming 12-months.
Entrepreneurs have to have a trait of inexplicable optimism to make it, and I come from a place of optimism for the start of each year, and I wish everyone in business the same, because fear will hold us back from progress.
Melanie Marten, Owner, The Coup Public Relations, Greece / Germany
In fact, we found it really interesting that, despite the supposed prevailing mood of business leaders this year, the majority of business leaders in our network found doing business in 2023 easier or the same as in 2022 and were optimistic about the coming year, too.
The reason was largely due to the widespread introduction of AI:
[I'm] Absolutely more optimistic. The integration of AI in SaaS is expected to skyrocket, enhancing efficiency and customer experiences.
Tonia Bledsoe, BLM Consulting, USA
With the introduction of Google's Gemini and individuals creating their own AI tools, there will be a lot more powerful and niche options for using AI to improve results.
Samantha Sineni, Founder & CEO, FORMATION. Media, USA
2024 may be the year we adopt AI in our business. As a highly regulated business, we need to address privacy and compliance issues before we can adopt any software. We want to use AI where it improves client and staff experiences, but we need to do it in a deliberate way.
Jay Zigmont, Founder, Child Free Wealth, USA
All good news for business owners as far as AI goes then, right?
Many business leaders see AI both as an opportunity to grow, but also as a significant threat:
I would say the biggest threat to marketing agencies is being crushed by both larger and smaller firms that leverage automation, vendors and a remote workforce more efficiently.
Kent Lewis, Founder, pdxMindShare, USA
And, this quote from a business leader in the insurance industry shows that AI does indeed represent an existential threat to some businesses in 2024:
GAIL is a voice powered AI tool that can apparently sell customers instead of humans life insurance.
Tim Connon, Founder & CEO, Paramount Quote
How does all of this shape our survey results from business leaders?
Take a look at our infographic, below.
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