Many business owners report having little time to step back from the day-to-day activities of business to think clearly about the next steps that might have the greatest impact on their success. For many owners, the time to consider “what if” seems like an uncertain exercise. Yet, the opportunity cost of not taking the time to plan for the future and project what you would do with access to capital can leave valuable opportunities on the table with significant impact on profitability or your share in the marketplace.
A productive way to begin is by placing your primary business goals into one of three categories: improve, grow or rebuild. While many business owners face issues in more than one category, it is useful to spend the time identifying your primary focus. By understanding your current business dynamics, you can better assess where you are heading. Similar to a golf shot, if you do not pay attention to where you aim, you may be surprised when you miss the green.
With your overall business strategy in mind, you can prioritize the ways to put capital to work for your business and then work your way towards a back-of-the-envelope capital plan. Only by calculating the impact of potential investments can you begin to better understand the amount and type of capital you need and be able to determine whether more attractive sources – like SBA loans – can work for your business. Use the table below to think through your current and future scenarios.
This exercise is a great tool to facilitate a conversation with your key advisors and to assess your current initiatives and options. Who you include will vary depending on your business goals and stage, but trusted advisors might include your CPA, attorney and transactional advisors like business brokers and commercial real estate agents. A key player to seek out is your SunTrust banker who can help you work through the impact of capital on your business goals and plans.