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Your Business

5 Tips to Help Manage Your Business

Businesses of all sizes continue to face a host of issues and challenges – not to mention those associated with the recent pandemic – forcing them to adjust their business models. These days, competition comes from not only the shopkeeper down the street, but also from the business in a whole different corner of the world. What can you do?

1. Identify key resources for sustainment and growth

Capital and cash flow – the circulatory system of any business – are two words always on every business owner’s mind. But how do you ensure you have enough money coursing through your company to meet your ongoing business demands? Beyond traditional bank loans, you may benefit from a line of credit to meet short-term, unexpected expenses.  There are also specialty lending solutions like equipment financing and leasing and asset-based lending secured by receivables or inventory.  If you need help, Atlantic Union Bank commercial and business bankers can assist in finding the best solution for your needs. We’re also a preferred lender for the Small Business Administration. (See our business lending offerings here). 

2. Hire the right talent and keep them

Successful entrepreneurs will tell you: it’s the people behind the product or service that make things happen. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right employees. Many business owners consider it their biggest challenge. While there is no simple solution to the problem, business owners can up their talent-search-game by networking, seeking input from recruiters, writing comprehensive job descriptions and using clear and targeted questions during the interview process. Once you do hire the right person, make sure you give them every reason to stay. Offering a good benefits package, room to grow, a pleasant workplace, and a commitment to their success along with other perks are great areas to focus.

3. Embrace technology

Businesses today move at light speed. Technology has revolutionized the corporate world, with new software, apps and data storage options springing up daily. For business owners, this means acquiring the skills to operate these new technologies. In addition to taking classes and/or learning virtually, many software manufacturers provide training in conjunction with their customer support services.  One of the most impactful technologies is “cloud” computing, which involves storing data or running software on virtual servers hosted by third parties. Cloud computing is particularly small-business friendly because it allows access to a variety of office productivity tools (email, calendar, word processing, databases, invoicing, CRM, intranet, etc.) without an investment in expensive technology.

4. Maintain cybersecurity

Though hackers have been a problem since the internet’s early days, the breadth and sophistication of their attacks have grown exponentially over the last few years. IT experts continue to develop protective software to thwart attacks, but it’s not an easy task. In fact, the best way to keep hackers out of your business’ infrastructure is to take a few proactive measures.

Educate your employees
Encourage your staff to not open suspicious emails, avoid certain websites, and don’t download any software to their work computers. Also, advise them to use complicated passwords to access their workstations and other online business applications.

Enhance network security            
Hopefully your company already uses a firewall for your network and business website. Make sure it’s updated frequently and managed correctly by either your IT team or a company that specializes in managed security. You should also keep current with any security updates and patches and back up your data regularly.

5. Revisit your business plan

Having fleshed out a business plan when you first started your business was essential. But, is it still valid? Maybe it’s time you revisit it as situations may have changed since it was first developed. Take a long look at your mission statement and think over your operating strategy. Depending on how long your business has been in operation, there’s a good chance that it might be out of date. With emerging technologies changing the way business is done and the pivoting many organizations did during the pandemic, you may have to make some adjustments and get everyone in your business involved to figure out how you can move forward in the long-term.   Look for ways to differentiate yourself from regional, local and global competitors, while continuing to define your brand.

Managing your small business and competing in an ever-changing landscape takes hard work. But, you knew that when you started, right?

If you need any help along the way with any new banking needs, Atlantic Union Bank has a dedicated team that can help you manage your business better.  Contact a Relationship Manager to get started.   

We’re proud to announce that Atlantic Union Bank is a recent winner of the 2020 Greenwich Business Banking Excellence Award.

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