We explore how business is changing and adapting two years after the pandemic lockdown began.
Small businesses have endured a tough journey over the last few years, as “business as usual” became highly chaotic during the pandemic.
New mandates and restrictions saw a lot of businesses move online or close their doors completely as financial hardships became too much to bear – and challenges continue with rising inflation and labour and supply chain issues.
The good news is that with vaccines now widely available the economy is stabilizing and we can finally begin planning for the foreseeable future. We’ve outlined some of the financial trends small businesses are experiencing as we gradually return to a new normal.
Budgeting for Personal Income
Did you know that some small business owners do not include themselves on the payroll? Perhaps you’re one of them. Instead, they use the extra cash their business brings in for personal spending.
However, given the unpredictable nature of profits these last couple years, business owners must begin to take a closer look at their margins and avoid the temptation to use excess dollars to sustain a certain lifestyle.
In 2022, more business owners are beginning to map out how much they would like to make, and then creating a budget to regularly pay themselves a modest amount at designated intervals.
Working with a bookkeeper and accountant can help you to better control your cashflow until sales reach a financial benchmark where you can afford to give yourself a well-deserved raise.
Spending slightly more than before
Between restrictions and supply chain issues, the pandemic forced business owners to cut back on staff, as well as available products and services. But in 2022 as doors reopen, services increase and supply chain issues are slowly resolved, people are starting to regain some semblance of predictability and security. This means there is a bit of flexibility to invest a little more on the things everyone was forced to cut back on.
It is with cautious optimism that spending increases as we bravely move forward with the hope that we’ve surpassed the major obstacles that have hampered how we do business.
Debt is often considered a dirty word, but it is nearly unavoidable. In 2022, more businesses are reconciling with the fact that debt is just a part of life, and it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. After all, there’s good debt and there’s bad debt.
Good debt includes borrowing for things that will enhance the productivity of your business, like equipment, software, etc. Bad debt is the kind that covers cash crunches that could’ve been avoided with some better planning and a good accountant on your team.
Financial shortfalls happen, especially after the last two years we’ve had, but not making it a habit is key. As the world gradually returns to a more stable status quo, alternative lenders, credit unions and banks are starting to provide more options for small business loans.
That means borrowing will be more affordable, which is great news for businesses with good credit scores who want a boost to get ahead.
Managing finances with technology
Doing business online has been nearly unavoidable for the past couple years as most business owners have been forced to dip their toes into the virtual arena in order to stay afloat. For this reason, spending on digital technologies has taken a front seat, as businesses explore different platforms for managing their marketing and ecommerce.
It has been a steep learning curve for some, but it is the way of the world and a crucial investment. The covid-19 era also saw a lot of businesses make the move to a cashless format which is now quickly trending towards cardless. Options to simply tap your phone at check-out using apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay are becoming increasingly commonplace for their speed and efficiency.
How has your business evolved over the last two years and where do you see yourself going? If you’re not sure, that’s okay. It’s natural to feel a little uncertain after so much uncertainty. Let our team help you to get back on track and on trend so you can begin to move forward with renewed confidence for success.