Inflation continues to drive up the cost of goods. Interest rates are still rising. Supply chain issues are a persistent challenge. So what should you do as a small business owner? Is there a path for growth? Should you hold tight, or maybe even pull back a little?
It’s important to remember that the U.S. economy has been here before. And if the past is indicative of the future, there are many things business owners can learn and apply to the current landscape.
For example, the importance of having ready cash. Focus on liquidity. Access to capital and lines of credit buy you safety during a slowdown. Is your line of credit sufficient to carry you through? Do you need to increase it because of your increased costs? Should you extend your loans to 3 or 5 years?
Perhaps most important of all is knowing who will have your back. Your banker should be your trusted advisor, your financial partner. You need to know that they’ll be there for you to help you make these critical decisions.
During the last major economic downturn, many large national banks looked to reduce their risks by restricting credit to select industries. Community banks, on the other hand, generally keep their doors open to all businesses. Community banks are invested in the viability of our local community and in your continued success. They know the regional landscape and the intricacies of your business.
Where you bank matters, especially in the times that matter most.
Originally published in the Small Business Monthly's Ask The Banker Column in September of 2023 by Pete Zeiser, President - Chesterfield Commercial at Midwest BankCentre.