Small businesses are currently facing the twin challenges of high interest rates and high inflation. They’re paying more for loans and raw materials while trying to maintain a good quality of life for their employees, all while trying to grow their business.
Things are moving quickly. In November of 2020, inflation was quoted at .75, less than 1%. But let’s take a step back in time what was happening in November of 2020? Well, stimulus checks had been sent out, there was PPP money sent out to business owners. EIDL was on the rise and overall the government was pumping as much money as they can into the economy to keep inflation that low and stop us from feeling the effects of the pandemic.
But let’s take a look at the results of this government interference. In August of 2022, inflation had risen to 9.2%. By the end of December, it was down to 4.6%. But here’s the point. Inflation has increased a lot. We know that every time we go to fill up our gas tank, we know that every time we go to the grocery store, we see inflation on a daily basis. And couple that with the fact that small business owners often have to pay 2 to 3 points more on their business loans.
In February of this year, 2023, the prime interest rate rose from 3.25% percent to 7.75%. This could have a huge impact on small businesses if they’re not flush with cash and they’re forced to finance to run their business or grow their business.
In fact, the last time the prime interest rate was this high was during the Great Recession of 2008. While we have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, we can use history as a guide. During the 2008 recession. 1.8 million businesses closed their doors and 8.7 million people lost their jobs.
During the last three recessions 91% of business owners were suffering. However, the key is that 9% thrived during those times. Success also leaves clues.
So here’s the question, how can you position your business to take advantage of all the bad news that might happen with a pending recession? Let’s face it, no one knows what’s around the corner. We could guess. We could estimate. We could say what we think. Regardless, you need to be in a position where you can thrive, having the flexibility to pivot to whatever life throws our way.
We would argue that that comes with being in control of your cash and your cash flow, not dependent on banks not saving in places where you can’t access that money, but rather having a pool of cash that you own and control that you’re able to access for when you’re ready to grow your business, perhaps during the next recession, whenever that may be.
And remember, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep that really matters.