Moving into the New Year, it’s important for small business owners to take a step back and survey the landscape to discern whether now is a good time to obtain alternative financing for investing in the company. When times are tough, it can be difficult for small businesses to get a return on investment. However, when timed to coincide with a growing economic environment, owners can reap the benefits of alternative lending options much more quickly and efficiently.
December hiring surges
Judging from the recent Small Business Report released by ADP, this sector is on the rise and poised for additional growth throughout the new year. As noted in the report, private-sector small businesses – those with one to 49 employees – added 95,000 new jobs in the last month of the year. Specifically, those companies with one to 19 workers added 51,000 new positions, while those with 20 to 49 staff members increased by 44,000 additional roles.
These are the largest job gains for small businesses since June 2015, when 119,000 new positions were created. As a whole, this bodes well for companies as the new year kicks off, representing a confident sector that is eager for growth. As these companies look to boost sales and expand into new markets, now is a great time for owners to take advantage of the many benefits associated with obtaining alternative financing.
With small businesses beginning the new year with positive hiring trends, improved profitability and stronger sales, many owners are looking for an investment route that truly benefits the company. Increasingly, the answer to this question is purchasing and installing newer technology.
According to a recent survey of 574 small businesses conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, 76 percent of respondents said they intend to expand their business in 2016. Further, 60 percent anticipate higher gross sales/revenue.
However, respondents noted a few things their businesses needed to reach these milestones. Among the top three needs were marketing at 58 percent, business planning at 48 percent and technology at 46 percent. While a solid marketing strategy and innovative business planning are concepts that can take a significant amount of time to draft, refine and implement, new technology, on the other hand, can be purchased and installed almost immediately.
These technological upgrades can come in a variety of forms and devices depending on the business type. Whatever the needs of the company are, though, providing the best and most bleeding-edge tools to both employees and customers can ultimately boost productivity while ensuring more streamlined transactions.
Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, Executive Director of Programs at the Chamber of Commerce Katie Fitzpatrick said the data from the survey is analyzed to determine what the Chamber should provide for local businesses in terms of strategies and programs.
“If you don’t have good tech tools and your workers are mired in meaningless data entry because you are not using good tools, they are out the door,” Katie Fitzpatrick, executive director of programs at the Chamber of Commerce, told the Chicago Tribune.
With more companies hiring workers, another concern among the survey respondents was the lack of skilled labor. This is a trend affecting numerous industries, and as the economy continues to improve and reach maximum employment, it will only become more difficult to find the best talent. Thankfully, one of the most successful ways to attract the best and the brightest individuals to a small business is by utilizing leading technological tools.
Going to a traditional lender can be a long, resource-consuming process that involves drafting a business plan and scouring through years of financial data. However, with the right kind of small business loan, owners can ensure they’re obtaining the working capital they need easily and quickly.