Texas Border Business
While The COVID-19 pandemic has created many difficulties for small business owners, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey in June revealed that 76% of Hispanic business owners view the future as brighter than one might think even despite these difficulties. 63% said their financial situation over that same timeframe would be somewhat or very good, and 74% said that would apply 12 months from now. Yet recent estimates have said that almost 100,000 small businesses have closed since the pandemic began*. In addition, the index indicates that a number of challenges are affecting diverse-owned businesses disproportionately.
What does this tell us? That in both good and challenging times it is necessary to adapt to changing environments. A situation can seem optimistic right before a shift makes it less so, or vice-versa. In such an environment it is important to maintain control of the things you can as a business owner, including several important considerations.
Projecting cash flow
Cash flow projections are an essential part of planning regardless of the circumstances surrounding a business. If the pandemic has shown anything, it’s that the environment a business operates in can be unpredictable. For that reason, businesses may want to think about creating multiple projections to account for different factors. Creating projections for multiple time frames (three, six and 12 months for example) and for potential challenges down the road means a business can be more prepared to withstand that unpredictability.
The June survey found that 37% of Hispanic owners expect the number of jobs at their firms to climb over the next 12 months, one of the highest among the various segments of diverse owners surveyed. But as time has gone on it may be a different story for many business owners. This is another area where preparation will be key to success. Keeping an eye on operational needs is critical, whether a business is reopening and looking to bring workers back or having to downsize their staffing. Things to think about operationally include costs associated with production or vendors and needs of physical space in the modified business. Business planning around these shifts should take these factors into account.
Unfortunately, optimism about the future doesn’t change the challenges of the present, but these challenges also don’t necessarily need to negate that optimism. Being able to adapt your business to the current environment while also looking ahead is key to not only weathering current storms but coming out of them stronger.
For more information on how to navigate the current environment as a small business owner, visit our Small Business Resource Center at https://smallbusinessresources.wf.com/
*Source: Yelp: Local Economic Impact Report, September 2020, https://www.yelpeconomicaverage.com/business-closures-update-sep-2020.html