None of us could have known what 2020 had in store for our community, our families, or our businesses. Despite things looking brighter these days, no one knows what lies ahead. But you can’t let not knowing stop you from planning. Preparation is the key to responding to both crises and opportunities.
I’ve been working with businesses in South Florida for my entire career, and I’m so proud of how our community and our clients responded to the challenges of 2020 and are already taking advantage of the opportunities of 2021. Here are four questions to ask to make sure you’re on the right track for growth:
Have you created a contingency plan and how often is it updated?
Being prepared for a variety of scenarios can help you respond quickly and effectively when handling the next disaster or facing the next challenge. Ask yourself what possible scenarios your business could face. Do you have a backup in place if shipping were to be impacted? Is it from another location and supplier? Consider all aspects of a crisis, from closures, to supply interruptions, to physical damage. We recommend reviewing twice a year or as suppliers and staff change.
Do you have the right tools to get you through?
In 2020, we noticed that the clients who bounced back quickly were those who already had tools like lines of credit, cash management services and ACH in place. Talk to your trusted advisors, including your key staff, banker, CPA, and attorney about what tools you can use to save money and time now, before a crisis demands both from you.
Are you communicating with people who can help you?
Check in with your trusted advisors frequently. Your banker should understand your business and the local business community, and can play a role in developing solutions to the problems you’re facing. Likely they’ll have experience with alternative or non-traditional programs or sources of funding. They can supply key data that can help you make decisions.
Are you planning for growth?
Once you’ve developed your plans for potential challenges and opportunities, consider how much funding you might need for each situation. We all expect challenges to require capital, but don’t forget that opportunities require funds, too. Opening a new location, creating a new product, upgrading equipment, and serving more people all require investment. Work with your banker to determine the best funding source for each need.
If 2020 taught us nothing else, it taught us that the most successful business owners are those who are resilient and see crises as ways to embrace adversity and thrive. Contact us at 954-527-2384 to ask us how Valley Bank can help you take advantage of the opportunities coming your way.
Lauren Nanni is the Business Banking – Sales Manager in South Florida with Valley Bank. With nearly three decades of banking experience in South Florida, she leads a team of professional business bankers specializing in developing relationships with companies with annual revenues up to $10 million.
– Valley National Bank is a Member of the FDIC and Equal Opportunity Lender.