2020 threw a major curve ball to the entire world, with small businesses especially hard hit by pandemic-related economic challenges. Now, as Virginia moves into the third phase of reopening, local small businesses are taking stock of the damage and preparing to bounce back. Here are 10 things to check off your to-do list to help your business start down the road to recovery. Is your business headed in the right direction? Are you on track to meet your quarterly and annual goals? Review our list of 10 steps to financial recovery for Virginia small businesses and contact our commercial team for personalized advice.
1. Review your business plan or create one if you don’t already have one in place.
As your business grows, you may need to reevaluate your business plan to accommodate new goals and circumstances. Or, if your business is brand new you may not have finished building a business plan yet. For inspiration, check out these business plan resources from SCORE Shenandoah Valley.
Need more personalized help? “The lending staff at F&M can work with commercial customers to provide quick decision making,” says Jordan Dean, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager. “We’re not just bankers, but knowledgeable professionals that can offer sound advice to a variety of industries.”
2. Set a budget, track it, and stick to it.
Just as a budget is the foundation of your healthy personal finances, your business also needs to plan and track cash inflow and spending. SCORE Shenandoah Valley has a free on-demand course with tips on budgeting for your business.
3. Reduce high-cost debt.
Are your principal or interest payments too high and dragging down your cash flow? Consider consolidating and refinancing your high-cost debt into a more affordable monthly payment with our Business Term Loans.
Discussing cash flow scenarios with your loan officer can help lead to unique solutions for your business. “My goal is to form long-lasting relationships with my customers as I help them grow and thrive. I bring a consultative approach to understand all aspects of my client’s business and personal goals”–Brooke Zirk, Vice President; Commerical Relationship Manager.
4. Understand and manage your business cash flow cycle more effectively.
Many profitable businesses have closed their doors due to cash and resource mismanagement. That’s why it’s so important to understand your cash flow cycle, use debt where appropriate and have a plan! It’s also advisable for new business owners to use the services of a commercial lender to help them either plan for financing options for a new business or even do a wellness check for existing businesses.
5. Pay bills on time.
Falling behind on regular overhead costs isn’t a good sign for the financial health of your business. Use these accounting and cash flow resources from SCORE Shenandoah Valley to forecast profits and losses and set yourself up to stay on top of accounts payable this year.
If you need help evaluating your cash flow strategy, don’t be afraid to ask your loan officer. “Our decisions will always have your best interest in mind and your success is linked to ours. It’s our job to match your financial needs with the best product whether it’s a loan, checking account, etc”–Kevin Nixon, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.
6. Establish or build on existing savings.
Saving for a rainy day can help your business manage cash flow and avoid falling too far into debt. Browse the business savings account options at F&M Bank and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your banker. You may also want to consider the tools you are using to conduct business to determine if cost savings options are available.
“When partnering with a business, we tailor our Business Solutions package to fit your specific needs. From treasury and merchant services to our one-of-a-kind courier option, we have everything a business needs to succeed!”–Mary Pavlovskaya, Bank Officer; Business Deposit Services Officer.
7. Improve your digital presence and SEO.
As a small business owner, you’re already juggling many responsibilities. The prospect of digital marketing can feel overwhelming, but if you can’t afford to outsource it, it’s worth it to devote a regular bracket of time each week to improve your SEO and SEM.
8. Utilize social media and promote your business regularly.
The same thing goes for social media. As a local business, you need to interact with your customers on their favorite social platforms. Check out these free social media marketing tools to help you get started.
9. Become more involved in the local community.
As a longtime community bank, we understand the importance of getting involved locally. After all, the success of our bank–and any local business–is tied to the success of the community. As Donna Brown, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager, says:
“The betterment of our local communities, businesses, and individuals continues to be at the forefront of our corporate objectives and goals, as it has always been since 1908. We have a proven history of promoting, serving and enriching our local communities, friends, and neighbors.”
This year, spend some time thinking about the causes and organizations you’d like to get involved with and then execute your plans. At the same time that you’re doing good work, you’ll build awareness of your brand, engage with existing customers, and connect with new prospects.
10. Build a relationship with their banker/financial institution.
When you partner with a relationship bank like F&M, you can count on sound financial advice and recommendations throughout the life of your business.
“I would advise every business owner to develop a relationship with their banker. Most bankers can help guide their customers in financial decisions and give them thoughts to consider when starting a business and moving ahead with growth and needs”–Barbara Bartley, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.
“We take the team approach, and our employees are dedicated to servicing our customers and building lasting relationships. We also have local decision making which means the person that you are working with from the beginning is also approving your loans.”–Renee Hartless, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.
Contact a commercial lender at F&M Bank today!
If you’re looking for Virginia small business lenders, give our team of commercial lenders in Virginia a call. You can browse our staff here, learn more about the business banking solutions we offer, and contact us at your convenience.