Sponsor Feature: Broadway Bank

Sound advice every entrepreneur and business owner needs now:

Start a business or expand your current venture confidently with these three best practices from Broadway Bank’s Senior Vice President, SBA Lending Specialist Amanda Weinand.

For many of us, the pandemic changed the way we do business, how we manage our day-to-day responsibilities and plan for future investments. We pivoted and adapted to changing landscapes. We revised our long-term projects based on industry shifts. We probably put any big plans or dreams on hold as well.

As an SBA specialist, I hear from clients that want to take that leap into entrepreneurism or business expansion but have hesitations. The economy is unpredictable and business planning isn’t easy. I like discussing these areas of discomfort with my clients so they can shake the anxiety and move forward with confidence. Let’s get our business plans back on track, shall we?

Broadway Bank loves helping business owners build a legacy within their communities. It’s an exciting time that should be handled with research and strategy. If you are thinking about launching a startup or growing your current company, there are some business strategies I recommend you consider before your next big decision. Below are the top tips I have given through mentoring clients and acting as a small business development expert.

1. Be realistic

Look at your competition. If your competition has earned a large portion of the market, is this the right step for you? Determine your point of differentiation to find your niche and market what makes you special to your customers.

Financial stability and preparedness are also crucial when launching a successful venture. Review your cash flow. If you are thinking about business expansion, your cash flow should support the existing business and the new business as it becomes stabilized. I have seen entrepreneurs jump in without having the capital to support and then struggle to keep afloat.

Be realistic in what you can support. Work with a financial advisor to collect honest feedback and affirmation.

2. Be prepared

As you build out your business plan, focus on your numbers as much as you can. Create extreme financial scenarios to think through so you can gauge your comfort level. Determine a business projection and what each cost would be. Would you still be generating positive return? Stressing your financials is a healthy exercise that I recommend to any new entrepreneur and seasoned business owner.

Do your market research so you have a clear picture of the current industry landscape, workforce pool and customer opportunities. Search for free training workshops and market analysis resources in your community. Local universities, chambers of commerce and professional organizations are great starting points to identifying available tools and resources. Understanding the statistics in your industry can be used to your advantage as you build your game plan.

3. Be ready to adapt

I can tell you that there is no perfect formula for starting a small business. There will be times where things don’t go to plan. How will you cover those instances? I have learned that the best business advice usually forces you to think in a new way.

But do not let the unknown scare you. If you are thinking about bringing a vision to life, then you already have the passion and determination to make it happen. Keep your eye on the prize. It might sound a little defeatist, but if you go into a project with the mindset that it is not going to work, then you will probably be less phased when things don’t go to plan.

Think of all the things that could go wrong and think through solutions. Practicing for various types of distractions strengthens your leadership alertness.

Starting a small business or expanding a venture is no small decision. Even the most seasoned business owners should think through the challenges before growing. Despite the uncertainties last year has brought us, I continue to see the entrepreneurial spirit prevail. If I think back to the customers I have supported, an overwhelming number of them would do it all over again.

Making your mark in the community and creating something you’ve dreamed about is a deeply rewarding experience. Focus on the essential elements of your brand. The more research and scenario-based planning you make early on, the better chance your business has for success.

For more information on Broadway Bank and its unique approach to modern banking, that’s locally sourced and personally delivered, visit broadway.bank.

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