5 things all businesses should be doing right now!
Today’s business owners are weathering the effects of inflation, looming recession, and recovery from Ian. There are some things you should be doing right now to help protect your business from disasters, natural or economic. Being prepared is your best defense to mitigate financial setbacks and keep you afloat.
1. Review of financials.
First things first, meet with a trusted financial advisor or banker to determine where you stand and where you will be as inflation continues and in light of a recession, in addition to recovery from Ian. Be sure to put away a rainy-day fund and establish a line of credit. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but it can be a lifesaver in certain situations. Consider additional resources and options for access to capital. Establish two banking relationships, one with a community bank and one with a regional bank. Many had to live and learn the hard way when single banking relationships did not work out in 2008-2010.
2. Price adjustments. Necessities like labor, materials, and utilities are costing more for everyone thanks to inflation, and supply chain delays are contributing to the issue. Explain to customers politely how businesses can only absorb so much and that you are doing everything within your power to avoid passing on costs. Many of them will understand as they are facing the same challenges and know that increases can only be put off for so long before the business is at risk.
3. Evaluate labor costs. A lot of businesses started giving incentives like higher wages because of the effects of the pandemic, but with inflation and a looming recession it’s a good time to re-evaluate wage offerings and incentives. Tighter budgets are causing everyone to make difficult decisions to reduce costs, in part by increasing efficiency through automation and software options to optimize your business model.
4. Streamlining, automating and optimizing operations. With the dollar doing less coupled by ongoing labor shortages, it might make sense to focus on efficiency rather than growth right now. Also, if your current labor costs are pushing the limits of your budget, business software and automation for tasks like data collection and task management may be the solution. Putting growth on hold in the interim will also provide extra time to strategize and optimize expansion opportunities for the future.
5. Use multiple suppliers. Supply still hasn’t completely caught up since the pandemic and with the impact of Ian and the economic downturn, it likely won’t return to normal any time soon. More than one supplier is needed to protect your business from disruptions in the supply chain and the economy. The pandemic taught this lesson, and the effects of inflation and recession are driving it home. Reduce your risks by exploring all options and networking with other businesses navigating similar challenges for support.
As a trusted advisor who can help you explore your options and achieve your dreams and goals, Gulf Coast Business Bank is all about supporting the Southwest Florida community. Visit gcbbswfl.com for more information or call 239-345-BANK (2265) to speak with a representative today. Bill Blevins is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Business Bank (GCBB). Locally owned and operated by some of Southwest Florida’s most experienced bankers, GCBB is personally invested in the success of the community and its businesses. Through highly competitive and tailored products and services, state-of-the-art technology, and personalized banking decisions made locally, GCBB goes above and beyond to build a strong and consistent growing local economy.