As states and communities navigate an emergence from the aftermath of a year-long battle with the pandemic, businesses of all sizes are grappling with how to adjust, reconfigure, and plan for a post-pandemic economic environment.
Although many businesses have needed to adapt in one respect or another, a post-pandemic economic scene is certain to surface as quickly as possible. Just as businesses have had to remain nimble and evolve to meet the challenging landscape of the pandemic, they’ll also need to create a solid, post-pandemic business plan. Michael Perry, Senior Vice President, Team Leader of Business Banking, said, “It remains to be seen how out-of-home spending behaviors and service demands will shift or if they’ll forever be altered by the pandemic.”
Although digital solutions and remote work capabilities are likely here to stay, as we move forward in this year of transition, he suggested businesses consider preparing for the trajectory of progression, or the next new normal, that lies ahead. Perry suggested businesses look to their trusted business banker for assistance during this transition. “The number one reason for a business owner to secure a business line of credit is so they may gain access to short-term funding at a reasonable, sustainable rate. Businesses can use funds from a business line of credit to help finance things like operational expenses,” he said. “Essentials like supplies, payroll, digital technology, and inventory will all need to be taken into consideration as businesses revamp.”
As businesses re-tool for customers and spending patterns to emerge back into more pre-pandemic activities, they’ll need to have appropriate staffing, supplies, equipment, and digital solutions in place to be ready. “Throughout this ordeal, many business owners have needed to exhaust cash reserves just to stay afloat during minimized capacity requirements, shut-downs, and reduced demand,” said Perry. In fact, it appears small-businesses felt the greatest impact as small business revenue fell more than 30 percent between January and December 2020ˡ. “Companies coming out of this pandemic will almost look like start-ups as they ramp up their staffing levels, re-train existing or new employees, reconfigure offices, workspaces, and storefronts while, ultimately, wining back their customers.”
He said the more prepared and adaptable a business continues to be, the more opportunity it has to transform itself for the future. Since more consumers than ever have tried different methods of shopping and spending, 65% of consumers surveyed indicated they will continue to do so once the pandemic is over². Perry continued, “Businesses may have just implemented the quickest solution available in the midst of the pandemic; however, they’ll now want to consider the best long-term solutions, especially in their e-commerce capabilities. As vaccine rollouts continue and confidence goes up, businesses should be ready.”
Read “Four Steps to Rebuilding Your Business” to find out more about how to navigate the next phase of rebuilding and recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic.
What Are Three Benefits of a Business Line of Credit?
1. Help with cash flow. With a variety of collateral options, business owners can avoid costly fees and higher interest rates often associated with other financing options.
2. Immediate access to funds. An approved business line of credit allows business owners access to the funding they need whenever they need it. With access to appropriate funding, businesses can order supplies and inventory ahead of time and take advantage of bulk pricing and shipping delay insulation.
3. Address liquidity concerns. As businesses emerge from the pandemic, cash reserves may have already been utilized to withstand its impact. A business line of credit can offer some much-needed reprieve until accounts receivables are back to more sustainable levels.
Whether it’s utilizing a business line of credit to secure and train increased staffing levels, purchase additional inventory, or beef up long-term digital capabilities, Perry expounded that business owners may use funding from a business line of credit however they see fit to help them meet the evolving demands that have been placed upon their businesses. “It’s really not about if they should reconfigure for the future, it’s how,” he added.
ˡ Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2020, wsj.com
² “The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond.” McKinsey & Company survey (9 of 13 major countries surveyed)