Tips for Small Business Growth During Economic Uncertainty

Only about 8 percent of people actually stick to their New Year’s commitments1, and nearly 80 percent give up on their goals as early as the second week of February2, but your business goals don’t have to fall flat. Economic uncertainty may make it more difficult to plan for growth or minimize business risk, but it doesn’t have to derail your success completely. Lay a solid foundation for 2018 with these small business tips and face the new year with confidence.

1. Always Be Ready for Business Funding

Not knowing where the economy is headed or how it will affect the lending environment means you should try to get and stay in the best possible shape for funding. That is, you want to have a thorough business plan, strong business credit scores and ratings, knowledge of what type of funding you’ll need and how much, the ability to repay a loan, and a good relationship with a lender. Start building your business credit file file now if you haven’t already – your business credit scores and ratings can be particularly important when trying to win over risk-averse lenders.

2. Try Subcontractor Bidding

In an uncertain economy, organizations looking for contractors will be less willing to take on risk, and smaller firms aiming for their first federal contract may not win any bids. In this environment, it can be advantageous to start off instead as a subcontractor to a company who already works with the government. By being a subcontractor, you can gain valuable experience to leverage when you eventually bid on federal contracts directly. Federal clients will be able to see that you can handle their demands and that you already meet most (or even all) of their standards.

3. Adjust Your Business Plan

Revising your business plan should be a common practice during end-of-year planning. If you haven’t updated yours since the last time you used it to get funding, you’ll want to adjust any numbers and goals that may have changed. In a difficult lending environment, lenders will want to see that you have a plan for how you’ll use the money and to know why you’re asking for a specific amount.

4. Evaluating and Monitoring Partners

Anytime you’re wondering if the economy will affect your business, you can assume that other businesses are wondering the same, and you should consider monitoring partners and potential partners. Business credit monitoring tools like D&B Credit Reporter help you stay on top of other companies’ scores and ratings, allowing you to know when your business risk changes. Quality data and analytics can help you anticipate late payments, bankruptcy, or fraud, so you can keep your business safe.

As the year closes, it’s always inspiring (and sometimes fun) to make big plans for the future. But when you don’t know what the future might hold, it’s also the perfect time to lay a foundation that will serve you well in the months to come. If you make a New Year’s resolution to grow and protect your business in 2018, just know that Dun & Bradstreet can help you be part of the 8 percent who succeeds at accomplishing their goal.