As a business owner, you need to know your company inside and out. But at the beginning of the year when you’re faced with balance sheets, expense reports and financial statements, sometimes it feels like what you really need is a crystal ball.
Annual planning can be daunting, but it’s a necessary part of any business and the successful companies are the ones that can spot trends. To make it easier, Pam Cyr, chief retail officer at Beneficial Bank*, tells us there are five things business owners need to be aware of in 2014.
1. Know Your Community. Each day the news is different. Is the economy improving or getting worse? It’s important to stay on top of current events, both on Wall Street and outside your window. Talk to your customers, read the local news, stay on top of trends. As we know at Beneficial, sometimes your neighbors are your best asset.
2. Loans, Loans, Loans. It’s a great time to get a loan because interest rates are low. As the economy improves, it’s likely that interest rates will get higher. Do your research and talk to people who’ve gone through the process. If rates increase before you lock in a low rate, you might be kicking yourself later.
3. Health Care. Confused about costs? You’re not alone. There’s been so much debate on the issue it can be overwhelming. Remember, an employer mandate will happen on Jan. 1, 2015. Spend time reading up on what’s required of your business. It’s important to factor in how these costs could eat into your bottom line.
4. Your Team. Building the right team at a business is crucial, but how do you make sure they stick around? Talk to your team early in the year to address their concerns and avoid anyone jumping ship.
5. The Future is Now. With the evolution of technology, handling your finances is easier than ever. Keep up to date with all the latest advancements and talk to your bank to find out how leveraging new financial technology might help streamline operations in 2014.
*Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 4, Issue 1 (January, 2014).
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