As America begins a new chapter after the historical election of Barack Obama, doing business differently is not an option but the norm.
A regular review of financial data, keeping abreast of changes in the industry, economy, and local environment will be a necessary task for business owners.
The support government provides to businesses on local, state, and national levels will continue to impact business decisions. The U.S. Small Business Administration has begun a campaign that can relieve some economic woes local businesses are experiencing. The SBA continues to follow its mission to support small businesses.
In a recent press release, the SBA encourages lenders to defer guaranteed loan payments up to three months for “good” borrowers. Of course, the decision will be made by the lender and will be reviewed case-by-case. In addition, the agency supports not calling loans due to declining home equity values, changes in credit scores or falling collateral values.
A thorough review of a minimum of the last three years financial statements should commence before businesses consider approaching a lender. There are several things to consider during the review, such as changes in cash position, debt to equity ratio, current ratio, trends, and economic conditions. A detailed plan demonstrating how the business will increase sales and make efficient use of assets and labor will be beneficial.
The time to consider diversification of services or products is now. Usually cutting expenses or reducing prices across the board is not a well-explored plan. Rather it’s an easy way to free up cash that may cause undesirable issues later.
Business owners can consider new uses and markets. In our local area, one market to consider is government procurement on the local, state, or national level.
As Cannon Air Force Base gears up for the Special Operations mission, there will be ample procurement opportunities that local businesses can pursue.
In order to become a prime supplier, businesses must obtain a number from Dunn & Bradstreet, register with the Central Contracting Register (a government Internet database) and research bids using the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. Businesses must learn the basics of marketing its business to the federal government. Representatives from the CAFB Contracting Office and the SBDC will present a four-hour presentation outlying this process to obtain government contracts on Thursday.
Planning and retooling the plan is a process that is a regular norm of doing business.
Sandra Taylor-Sawyer is director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College. Call the center at 769-4136 or visit www.nmsbdc.org/clovis