Questions Small Business Owners Should Be Asking Themselves Now

  • Should I consider expanding or narrowing my client base?
  • What new marketing techniques are needed to retain my customers?
  • Can my vendors deliver merchandise or the services I need within a realistic time frame?
  • If the cost of goods or services increase, should I consider pricing revisions?
  • Will my profit margins change?
  • How do I determine the sales needed in the next 12 months to achieve breakeven?
  • What changes in policies should I make in order to retain my current employees?
  • Are my bookkeeping procedures in order if I need to access capital?
  • Will an institutional lender consider providing some working capital if the year 2020 reflected a loss?
  • What do I need to do if I wish to bring in an investor or a new operating partner?
  • How careful should I be in disclosing financial information to third parties?
  • How can I be certain that persons who have insider information about my company are trustworthy?
  • What is the difference between a mentor, a coach, a consultant and an advocate?
  • How do I find the qualified professionals I need and can afford?
  • Has my personal credit score (FICO) been impacted by the changes in my business?
  • It this a good time to consider a start-up small business?

We, consumers, business owners and advisors, must adjust to a new business environment.   After 15 months of uncertainty, we are now forced to consider what changes will be required for success in every industry, every location, and every market. There is no simple solution for all businesses. The only certainty is that change is inevitable.

Each business owner will make short term and long-term strategic plans that will require changes; some minor, some major.

Which of the questions above apply to your business and how do you plan to make the adjustments needed for tomorrow’s success?  The only answer to many of these is “Let me look into this.” The questions require research by each business owner in order to provide meaningful answers. Now is the time to examine the soft spots in your organization and determine what changes are required.

There may be ways to reduce your overhead during the period of uncertainty. You may decide to use contract labor rather than full time employees. It may be advisable to speak with your landlord about a temporary rent reduction. If your landlord considers you a good tenant, he might adjust your rent for a few months rather than have to seek a new tenant during this time. He can adjust the payments that are to be made in future years in order to retain the same lease dollars.

If you can find a qualified advisor who can assist you with the search for talent and the required negotiations, consider this option. It is not an easy task to find a professional who is qualified and does not have a conflict of interest.  For example, this professional may be seeking a contractual agreement for a friend or a relative who provides the services you may be seeking. Due diligence is required.

I have been serving as a financial consultant in South Florida for over two decades.  I would be happy to provide email advice to readers who have specific questions during this post-pandemic period.  I may not have all the answers, but I am happy to share relevant information that will assist you in planning for future of your business. 

Asking the right questions can yield great benefits for your business.

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Marj Weber
Marj Weber
Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 20 years: combining financial literacy workshops with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently President of Primed 2 Grow Inc. a company that provides access to capital for both existing and start up enterprises. She has provided term loans and working capital to hundreds of small business in South Florida. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014 and served as a financial advisor for SBDC/FIU from 2014 to 2017. She also served as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has facilitated workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation, Little Haiti Cultural Center and several local banks. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York.