BY: Benjamin L. Swanson
As a business banker, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a variety of companies across a number of industries, and because of that, I tend to look at the annual business cycle in generalities. January and February are the months in which most companies finish their annual reviews from the year prior, and use that information to plan for the year ahead. September and October tend to be when businesses perform that final benchmark check of their annual goals and budget, and begin looking at what needs to get done before year-end.
While you are analyzing how you’ve done as a business year-to-date, you should also be reviewing the performance of your team – and that extends beyond your employees. To maximize your company’s efficiency, productivity, and profitability, you need to develop and nurture strong relationships with quality advisors. These resources can assist in developing your annual business plan, help you stay on track in adhering to it, and, ultimately, guide you toward accomplishing your goals.
Have you reviewed your capital and income levels with your accountant and banker? Are there any unfunded projects for the year that you need to talk through with your lender? Is there something missing? These are the types of questions that you might be asking yourself – and that you should answer before committing to a 2020 plan.
Generally, a good advisor team will comprise a banker, an accountant, an insurance provider, and an attorney. However, every business is unique, and every team will differ accordingly. There is likely a professional in the rapidly growing Dane County economy with expertise in a specific niche that would be a great player to add to your roster. Networking is a great way to discover that talent – in fact, it’s a vital way of expanding the opportunities available to you and your business.
Leveraging local resources maximizes your team’s competitive advantage, and improves the local economy for all – as the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” I’m a believer in the power of local and small-scale economies, and am fortunate enough to work for an employer that does, too. Whenever anybody asks me about the bank’s performance, I’m proud to share that we have played a significant part in the economies of each of our communities. The magic of banking is reinvesting our customers’ resources into new businesses, and when we keep those investments local, we are investing in a local economy from which we can all benefit.