Small Business Confidence Slips in September
The NFIB National Small Business Confidence index went down last month, continuing to essentially remain where it has been for months, hovering under pre-recession levels and subject to the turbulence of the US economy and other external factors. While small business owners remain optimistic that the economy will get better down the road, factors including the difficulty that many experience when applying for capital and a reported lack of qualified talent when hiring has seen actual business expansion lag behind the desire to expand. According to a Reuters report on the findings, business owners expected less profits and sales in the months to come, though they also anticipated positive development in the next six months. Essentially the needle has not jumped one way or the other, and small business owners continue to carry on doing what they can while hoping that conditions will improve to the point that they are able to pursue the plans they are siting on.
How can small business owners prepare for growth in six months? While small business owners want to grow outwardly, before they are able to do so they should be sure that they have done what they can in order to remove constraints in their infrastructure, as well as update their business plans to include changes created by growth or revisions in the original strategy of the business. The reason to make sure that you are updating your plan continuously is because it serves as a road map to your success, as well as an important tool for explaining your business to banks, potential partners and SCORE or other business mentors.
Be sure to cut down unnecessary expenses in order to allow for growth. Another way to prepare for growth is to reclaim overhead that would otherwise go wasted. Items that are on recurring billing that aren’t being used, for example, should be pruned from your expenses, as well as work done by contractors who are not delivering. Collections can be updated in order to increase the health of your business’s cash flows, and by promoting talent from within and cutting down on turnover you can save on expensive and time consuming hiring processes.
Photo Credit to Kate Ter Haar on Flickr