Industry Insights

59 small business owners share their goals for 2023

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Lyzi Unwin
Content Producer
Fervent blogger sharing signature Studio Cotton advice & small business stories
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I absolutely love this time of year; as everything winds down and work comes to a close, I always find myself reflecting on the year that has passed, and looking towards the new one stretching out before us. 2023 feels like a fresh, clean slate, and I’m starting to make plans to fulfil my dreams.

I’m sure many of us will be glad to see the back of 2022 and all its trials and tribulations, but a brand new year is about to grace us with its presence, so we wondered: what are small business owners hoping for? And then we asked, because if you haven’t gathered yet, that’s what we love to do.


A few fun facts about our little 2023 goals survey

  • 59 small business owners responded within about 48 hours
  • The most popular category for the Guaranteed Goal Pass was Financial Goals (23 respondents/41.1%)
  • And the least likely for the Guaranteed Goal Pass was Lifestyle Goals (3 respondents/5.4%)
  • We took an average of how respondents ranked different goal categories, and these were the results:
    • Financial (avg 1.84 rank)
    • Lifestyle (2.70)
    • Creative (2.80)
    • Optimisation (2.93)
    • Reputation (3.05)
    • Impact (3.48)
  • We thought it was interesting that even though Lifestyle Goals were the least likely to be achieved with our fictional Guaranteed Goal Pass, they were consistently second choice over all
  • Aime would like to caveat that she ballsed up the survey form on this one and allowed respondents to skip responses – she’ll do better next year

And now, let’s dive into those gorgeous small business goals you shared with us.


Financial goals for 2023

“I really need to start making some money 🙂 I have done all the investment last year such as website and branding, so now the focus is on margins, spend and profits.” – Polina, Good Fabric

“I would love to be profitable by year end, and if we’re really dreaming, be able to do my business full time!” – Natalia Kübler, Pearls & Pomegranates

“My financial goal is my core focus using the Profit First approach. Let’s go 2023.” – Rachel Harper, The Kids Press Company

“Make my business more profitable.” – Maria, Rosita Studio

“Become financially more stable, explore viable wholesale options, and get stocked in a brick and mortar.” – Jenni Davis, Hope & Hart

“With the help of new products, some press features, a few new lovely backlinks and a whole lot of work, I’m using my guaranteed goal pass to earn £12,000 of profit (pays the mortgage!) in 2023.” – Anna Hamill, And Hope Designs

“I would like to achieve a consistent income. I run spinning and weaving classes. People are nervous about their expenditure, and so I would like our online classes to have more take up.” – Cathy Wright, Lazykate Textiles

“Having recently taken the plunge and left my full time job, I’d like to have the security of a secure and dependable salary that I can draw from the business.” – Alice Whitemore, The Zen Hub

“Growing turnover, increasing sales, improving SEO and therefore (hopefully) Google rankings, thus impacting goal of growing business/following. ” – Sarah Ogden, Horseshoe Flowers

“I am going to make and set aside a buffer fund for (at least) three months, to allow myself to turn my side hustle into my only job early 2024.” – Imogen, Imogen Partridge Illustration

“Gross annual income of 60,000 USD.” – Preeti Abraham, Rue Dimanche

“That I gain 10 new wholesalers for my prints.” – Catherine, Orla and the Gang

“Have a fully booked diary.” – Natalie Anderson, Helen Selina Skincare

“Reaching a new revenue/profit target, to then be able to help out with a lifestyle and/or impact goal.” – Sabrine Keir, Studio SK

“We will reach a turnover of £1,000,000 which will in turn enable us to reach some lifestyle goals as we start a family (we’re a husband and wife business).” – Hannah, Home County Co.

“My business revenue for 2023 will reach $40,000 – or something better.” – René Shoemaker, René Shoemaker Art

“To be confident and sell my accessories through well known platforms and/or shops/own website.” – Sarah Crowe, Meredith Crowe

“I want to break be able to invest more in the company to work with amazing creatives. Collabs take monies, right now I’m just trying to break even. So I’d like to get above the line!” – Chelsea, Stationery Scout

“Gain a better work-life balance and be more disciplined/structured with my daily working day.” –  Charlotte Lane, The Lovely Sweet Co.

“I’m going to ‘follow the money’ and focus on promoting the hell out of my best selling lines, rather than trying to create all things for all people.” – Barbara Gadd, Vintage Patch

“I’m going to figure out how to run my business whilst also being a Mum, and have a good quality of life! It’s going to take a bit of organisation, excellent time management and support from family!” – Amber Kingston, Amber Hards Knitwear



Lifestyle goals for 2023

“Showing up for our customers through newsletters, blogs, shop updates and social media stories, without getting burned out by the idea of having to deliver. ” – Rabea Gebler, Sentomono

“Become a mother.” – Bianca, Motor&Tea

“This coming year, my most important goal is to focus on building my business in a way that fits into my life and feels authentic, especially since I will be spending several months travelling.” – Naima, Kei Digital


Impact goals for 2023

“Helping more small businesses feel like they are in control of how successful their brand is online, by teaching them the key ecommerce foundations for selling online.” – Elle Williamson, The Ecommerce Assistant

“Sewing can be quite a solitary hobby, so it’s lovely to meet likeminded people. I’d love to arrange picnics and online meet-ups. As a subscription service, it’s fun to get to know subscribers more.” – Kate, In a Haystack

“We are launching a monthly plant market in Walthamstow. We’ll work with local schools and feature local businesses, making a great community-feel day out for local families.” – Jemma & Annie Charman, Green Rooms Market

“Working with some new creative organisations to do the kind of work I love to do: helping them support creative freelancers and build their local ecosystem of creative talent.” – Ruth Singer

“Make coaching more accessible and affordable for more people by creating a series of free resources and workshops.” – Sophy, Sophy Wells Coaching

“We’re aiming to inspire creativity through journaling. We want to build on our existing community to create a place where folks can be inspired, learn new skills and share their journey with others.” – Nikki, Nikki’s Supply Store


Creative goals for 2023

“2023 is the year that we bring out a new product that isn’t for the skin. It’s a product that has been in the making for some time, and we are excited for it to join our natural range.” – Danielle Cooke, Wild Rising Skincare

“This year I want to explore my creativity in a deeper level and launch a new collection that is an expression of my personal journey, and hopefully it will connect and move people.” – Isabella Strambio

“Really cool clients will pay me really good money to create really cool floral art.” – Rachel Kelly, Make Lemonade

“To create an abundance of illustrated stationery, art prints and bespoke illustration services to market and sell.” – Hannah, Hannah Nicholls Art

“Design and print personalised gift wrap!” – Alex, Studio 9 Ltd

“I will paint first, worry about marketing after. Which means I will be painting in a way that reflects my own vision for my work, rather than what has a history of selling or what works for others.” – Michelle Barkway, Michelle Barkway Art

“Be more cohesive in what I am creating. I’ve always done a bit of everything. I want to streamline now it’s my full time job.” – Jennie Hudson, Bunting By Jen

“To keep pushing myself to grow technically and creatively, to experiment with new techniques and materials and to find new customers with whom my work resonates. To better define my brand identity.” – Alexandra Papathanasiou, Daughter of Helios

“There are untapped markets – namely younger folks. There should be creative directions that would appeal to these.” – Spiffy, Spiffy Toys



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Optimisation goals for 2023

“In 2023 I want make improvements to my customer’s experience through my website and services I can offer to them. I also want to make sure I don’t forget to enjoy my business, because I do love it!” – El, Ruby Friday

“Improve my website and systems to make the purchasing and learning experiences we offer accessible to all, whilst building our community. Hopefully, in turn, I can focus more on comms and creativity.” – Jane Drury, The Tartan Reel

“I’d like to improve and (re)build my LinkdedIn presence. I think the platform has made a lot of changes this year, especially that makes it a better space to be than other social media platforms.” – Nailah, The Content Witches

“I’m hoping to consistently schedule and achieve the small but crucial tweeks to my site that will (hopefully) boost my SEO. In short, I’m prioritising site efficiency and discoverability for Google.” – Lauren, Charnwood’s Child

“Balancing selling online & selling IRL (markets/fairs)” – Anna-Maria Pellegrini, AMPellegrini Art & Design

“Work to drum up sales and promote my business in summer with the same level of commitment that I do at Christmas ” – Bec, Dakota Rae Dust

“Making wholesale the main stream of income for the business.” – Fede, The Mood Club

“Creative a bookable schedule on my website, block out hours for each area in my business.” – Hannah Redden, Hannah Redden Interiors

“Obviously I would love to make more money, but I chose the optimisation goal as a great way to organically grow my business. Mainly focusing on getting my conversion rate over 2%.” -Rachel, Cosy Craft Club

“I’m going to finally focus on building my mailing list. I’ve got Flodesk, lots of blogs of tips saved, and I’m making it my mission to grow to 1000 sign ups.” – Sarah, Go With The Sew


Reputation goals for 2023

“I’m opening a new shop and managing a creative space, so I want to boost awareness of the space and make a name for myself in the community for creatives.” – Hannah, Until Dawn Shop

“I need to get my brand out there and harvest some good backlinks.” – Kness, Kness – Ceramic Animals 

“I am going to focus on attaining press coverage for my Bow Ties and Mini Bow Tie Necklaces in particular. I have had features before, but in 2023 I am going to make it more consistent.” – Alice O’Connell, Wool & Water

“Earn more reputation credentials, in the form of customer feedback and at least one case study, to build trust.” – Holly Hammond, Mint


Other goals for 2023

“Number of orders – booking three wedding cakes/corporate orders a month.” – Jasmine, Little Cake Garden


Best of luck to you lovely small business owners, and everyone else too. We think 2023 might just be wonderful.

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