Seizing Opportunities Amid Economic Uncertainty
“Where do you think the economy is headed?” This seemingly simple question is one that we are being asked frequently as our clients navigate these uncertain times.
While we are not in the business of making predictions, we can say with certainty that Midwest BankCentre operates from a place of strength and stability and helps our clients to do so as well. With over a century of experience as a local community bank, we have seen countless economic ups and downs. Particularly during times of uncertainty, we have earned the distinction as a trusted advisor to the nearly 10,000 local businesses we serve. Our focus is not on predicting the future but on enabling business leaders and owners to make informed decisions and chart a path to success.
In an article recently published by the Harvard Business Review, they underscored the profound impact of strategic decision-making during times of adversity. They found that smart decisions in uncertain times can be the foundation for years of success. And, while each economic cycle has different catalysts, every cycle has one thing in common: it ends. And when the economic outlook becomes more certain or more favorable, companies that used the time to become more agile and resilient will find themselves better positioned to accelerate than the competition is.
As trusted advisors, we are here to offer ways to help you control spending and invest smartly to fuel long-term growth. We help you manage through the downside risks and, equally important, help you leverage the opportunities that change presents. At Midwest BankCentre, we are in the lending business; we have always been in the lending business, and we are always going to stay in the lending business.
In an earlier column, we talked about how to maximize your cash flow in this higher interest rate environment by setting up a sweep account. This treasury management tool allows commercial businesses, nonprofits, religious organizations, and individuals to put idle dollars to work.
There are other opportunities on the flip side of the current financial landscape as well. Rather than retrench, we are seeing our clients double down. They are investing resources to expand their businesses. They are diversifying their product lines, expanding their footprint, and exploring new channels of distribution. What may not have made good business sense even a few years ago, now points to growth.
One of our clients, who built their retail businesses on quality products and trustworthy customer service, has seen their foot traffic return and expand. They are staffing up to ensure they can continue to provide a quality experience and the expert advice their shoppers value and expect. They have leveraged their reputation for high-quality products to build stronger online sales and have expanded their presence with specialized products for niche markets.
Another client, a major distributor, has used this time to double its footprint. It continues to expand into other markets, pushing distribution from two states to five states. This growth has been fueled by new buildings and planned expansions. At the same time, they have redefined and broadened their customer base to enter new segments of the marketplace.
Other Midwest BankCentre clients are taking advantage of our current economic cycle to offer their services to bigger customers who themselves are looking for greater value and enhanced customer service. They are bidding on bigger projects and winning, and they are turning to us to help fuel their growth.
Regardless of the economic cycle, there are opportunities to be seized. Where you bank matters. Come see us.
Originally published in the St. Louis Business Journals Ask The Expert Column on 7/28/2023 by Danny Pogue, President – Commercial, Retail & Small Business Banking.