Tips for Business Owners

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Four in 10 Businesses Expect Credit Needs to Rise in 2022

Despite uncertainty related to COVID-19, four in 10 businesses say they expect their credit needs to increase in 2022, according to the JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey released Jan. 5, 2022. Small businesses are increasingly seeking financing, with 69% planning or needing financing in 2022, up from 59% a year ago. Almost half, 48%, of small businesses plan to use business credit cards to help fund their purchases, up from 38% a year ago, according to the survey. Small businesses are also exploring online lending, with 68% saying they plan to look into the option in 2022, up from 56% a year ago.

Additionally, small businesses are reaching customers through digital channels, with 24% implementing more contactless payment options and 19% saying they expect to move to an all e-commerce model, up from 12% a year ago.

The survey also found that 81% of midsize businesses and 63% of small businesses anticipate growth in revenue and sales in the year ahead. Eighty-three percent of midsize businesses and 71% of small businesses are optimistic about their performance in 2022. More than half, 53%, of midsize businesses are operating at least at the same capacity as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic and 31% are operating at a greater capacity than their pre-pandemic levels, the survey found.

Coping Tips During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for small business owners, both in their professional and personal lives. Depending on local guidance, you may be heading back to work or continuing to run operations remotely. As you are navigating these changes, it’s important to establish a balanced and healthy lifestyle outside of work. Here are some tips from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help you cope.  

Take Care of Your Body: When you feel your best physically, you’re more energetic and productive. Exercise, for example, makes people more alert and attentive, enabling better focus on your business. Even a little goes a long way! You may not have access to your usual gym, local rec center, or community pool, but you can still stay active by taking walks outside – or by following along with online exercise videos on hotter days.

Connect with Others: It’s more important than ever for small business owners to have a support system outside of work. Maintaining personal and professional connections may be more difficult than before the pandemic; however, there are still plenty of options for keeping in touch – including scheduling video calls with friends and loved ones throughout the week to blow off steam.

Also, make a point of cultivating a network of business mentors and peers who can serve as a sounding board as you navigate your business’s new normal. Connect with fellow small business owners via LinkedIn or Facebook groups.

Make Time to Unwind: Intentionally carve out time for yourself each week. This “me” time is different for everyone but should include relaxing or entertaining activities that help you recharge. Ideas include reading, watching a movie, cooking, gardening, doing arts and crafts or meditating.

While relaxation time can often feel like a remote luxury for busy small business owners, it’s essential to preventing burnout, so hold yourself accountable and don’t skip out on this time.

Set Goals and Priorities: With seemingly a million things to do to run a business, it can be hard to pinpoint where to start. The first step is to make a list of everything you need to get done. Then, prioritize your to-dos based on deadlines and other factors. Break down large, unwieldy projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Revisit your business plan to make sure that the areas you’re focusing on aligning with your overall business goals. If you’re still having trouble prioritizing, enlist the help of a business mentor. 

During these difficult times, small business owners remain resilient, always finding new and better ways to get things done. You tend carefully to your business, but don’t forget to take care of yourself too.