How Small Businesses Respond to Uncertainties

small business uncertainty

Financial consultant finds clients reluctant to plan in an uncertain climate.

 

Pending changes in tariffs, taxes, regulations that may be imposed immediately or within the next year or two make it difficult for small and mid-sized business to strategize with any sense of assurance.

Two key questions to explore:

1.   How does a small and mid-sized business executive handle the uncertainties of 2017?

2.   How can a chief financial officer (CFO) predict profitability with so many unknowns?

The successful business executive strategizes and executes policies and procedures for today while planning for tomorrow. He/she is concerned with both stabilization and growth.

Moore’s Law

This requires an understanding of the market and the ability to make appropriate operational and financial decisions that keep pace with anticipated changes. The principles of Moore’s Law which related to advances in technology have now become integral to all businesses.

“In 1965 Gordon Moore, who would later become one of the founders of Intel, a chipmaker, wrote a paper noting that the number of electronic components which could be crammed into an integrated circuit was doubling every year. This exponential increase came to be known as Moore’s law.” Technology Quarterly

Change is constant and moving at a more rapid pace than in the past. However the pending changes in regulations in the next year or two have exceeded the principles of Moore’s laws.

As a financial consultant to small and mid-sized business, I have assisted hundreds of companies on the path to success. This requires providing guidance in the process and finding the appropriate resources to expand their markets. 

I am currently polling my clients to see how they are handling the possible changes in Federal policies.

How are the uncertainties impacting their immediate expansion plans? What I have found is that most of my clients are reluctant to plan too far in the future.

The feedback captured were in four primary buckets:

1.   They cannot project their costs of goods when they cannot project the changes in Federal policies.

2.   They cannot offer employee benefits when they are unable to determine their profit margins. 

3.   They cannot quantify or qualify many of their costs. They cannot prepare realistic cash flow projections.

4.   They cannot consider the assumption of debt obligations when they are unable to define their profits.

These small and mid-sized business do not have the inside track in Washington.  Their news comes from TV, radio, social media, and colleagues. The news they receive is filtered and often confusing.  The future for many businesses is surviving the uncertainties of 2017.

They are unable to do long range strategic planning for corporate growth. 

Next- Four companiy types within industries that are most impacted

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About the author

Marjorie Weber

Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves 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 been facilitating workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation for the past 3 years. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami.She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.