Business Success Starts with Smart Planning

Business Success Starts with Smart Planning

For a business of any size, a profitable year requires thoughtful planning with a vision of long-term goals, flexible forecasting and versatile financing options. This planning has never been more paramount since the challenges presented in 2020 and 2021.

While companies were initially planning for growth, the pandemic and economic slowdown that followed obliterated those rosy forecasts for many. Some were forced into more of a survival mode where maintaining cash, staff and open doors were paramount. This caused businesses in many sectors to pause and adjust their plans accordingly.

With over a year passing since the initial impact of the pandemic, there are now reasons to remain cautiously optimistic about the rest of 2021 and the future. With strong business fundamentals, and affordable access to financing, a company can not only survive in 2021, but with proper planning — leverage market conditions to thrive. And, the most savvy can even gain a leadership position in their industry.

The Key Is to Take A Strategic Approach.

Companies must identify where they focus their time and allocate resources based on market opportunities. Can you expand your product line or add new services? Where can you improve your geographic footprint? Of these opportunities, which are most likely to result in revenue growth and deliver an improved profit?

The course of action is obviously different for each business. There are significant factors to consider and taking time to plan internally as a team is essential. Equally important is to identify outside resources that can add insights and experience to the larger future decisions you may have identified. It is definitely not a time for siloed decision making.

Every Business Should Have A Backup Plan.

Even with modest revenue projections for the coming months, the past year has reiterated the wisdom of maintaining a contingency plan that addresses possible negative factors. Scenarios to plan for may include:

Still, preplanning can go a long way in protecting any business.

Your contingency plan should provide sufficient cash reserves to ride out temporary drops in demand or quickly pivot and take advantage of market opportunities. Having a plan, you allow your business to maintain stability until economic conditions improve.

Another Bright Spot Is the Availability of Low-Cost Financing.

The U.S. Federal Reserve benchmark for funds is at historic lows, and banks are available to provide low-cost financing for multiple needs. These may include:

Obviously, many businesses have taken advantage of the two rounds of loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. ESSA Bank & Trust was thrilled to have assisted 673 businesses with PPP Loans totaling nearly $78 million dollars during round one. We were equally excited to see many more businesses take advantage of using PPP funds during round two. For some, these loans were literal lifesavers. As these programs end, many businesses will need more traditional, ongoing financing needs. We will continue to communicate any new assistance programs that might come available in the future.

Helping Businesses Thrive

Looking ahead, ESSA is excited about the many new opportunities that exist for businesses in the regions we serve. ESSA is ready to listen and provide customized business solutions, ideally positioned to help you and your business succeed. Our personal touch and ability to listen and understand our clients needs can make a big difference in your company’s future. We’d love to talk with you and learn more about your business goals.


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