According to Capital One’s latest Small Business Growth Index, business owners are worried about many things, but they are also optimistic.
The GOOD news is, overall, small business owners are feeling positive about their finances. Almost half say their sales increased in the past six months. That’s the highest percentage recorded since 2013. And, about 40% say their financial position is better than it was one year ago.
So, the BAD news – Although most small business owners feel good about their finances, they’re not overly confident. There are still some concerns and two of the top three worries have to do with money.
#1 = Taxes
Almost half of the owners say taxes are a major worry for 2018 and 30% say tax laws had a negative effect on their business in 2017. Because this worry is typically high on the mind of small business owners, these results aren’t exactly surprising. However, because tax reform is still TBD, small business owners have more reason than usual to feel uncertain about how taxes will affect them for 2018.
#1 = Tax Advice
If taxes are one of your biggest worries, get a good accountant on your side. To avoid all of the angst that comes with preparing your own taxes, enlist professional help since a tax pro who specializes in helping small businesses can be just the help you need to get the tax breaks you deserve. And, don’t wait! Make an appointment with the tax person now so you can make a plan and have time to reduce your 2018 tax burden.
#2 = Cash Flow
Almost half of small business owners in the survey say managing their cash flow is a challenge, if not completely unattainable. This percentage is up by 11% from the 2017 survey so even if small business owners are currently managing their cash flow well, they have doubts if they can continue to do so.
#2 – Cash Flow Made Easier
There are several steps you can take to keep this worrisome issue in check, starting with keeping a close eye on your cash. Do it NOW – don’t wait until your cash flow situation is under-water. It’s even more important if your industry typically has thin margins, slow-paying customers, or seasonal slow periods. If this applies to your business, stay on top of your cash flow daily.
#3 = Technology
About 1/3 of entrepreneurs in the survey said technology is a major challenge. With so much new technology in the small business arena (think AI, voice-activated assistants and chat bots), it’s no wonder owners are a bit overwhelmed. Because all industries advertise, market, & sell online, owners need to stay up-to-date.
#3 – Technology Advice
Find information via a publication/website that talks about tech in your specific industry to keep informed about technology trends. They may not all be pertinent to your business, but you’ll be aware of changes that could impact your company. If it’s been awhile since you’ve upgraded your technology (even a couple years can make a big change), hire an IT consultant to recommend changes needed.
In addition to these small business concerns, most small business owners are so busy working IN their business to focus ON the business. It’s critical that key areas of the business are protected that involve the HR, Legal and Financial operations. From a legal standpoint, businesses are liable for breaches of the IT system, and HR compliance laws continue to change. Awareness and implementation of HR policies help small businesses avoid costly fees and lawsuits from disgruntled employees and legal and regulatory bodies.
Many business owners don’t focus on succession planning and when a major issue arises, the business, and your family, are left in a state of panic and disarray. Having solid accounting practices, along with robust benefits can keep your business running smoothly and enable you to hire and retain top talent. Having sources of funding already in place are critical when cash flow tightens. And, business valuation is a must if you’re considering selling in the future. You’ve spent years building your business. Isn’t it time to know what the business is actually worth?
If any of (or ALL of!) these business concerns apply to you, give Sandbrook Benefits Group a call. We can show you how our FreshVue program can help you manage your business better by taking the day-to-day worries off your plate and allowing you to get back to running your business. FreshVue is an innovative, one-stop shop for all your HR, Legal and Financial questions & planning. Reach out to us at 520.888.9649 or visit: https://www.sandbrookgroup.com
Worrying about the future is an inevitable part of being a business owner but being better prepared with the right advice can keep your company growing in profits and size.
Article excerpted from: https://www.smallbizdaily.com/worries-small-business-owners/ smallbizdaily, By Rieva Lesonsky 2018