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The Importance of Business Basics Post-Pandemic

With high inflation and geopolitical headwinds, the economy is rebalancing, consumer spending has slowed, and business owners are getting more conservative. As rates go up, demand for loans has gone down, an intended consequence from the Fed’s efforts to slow economic activity. As a business owner, it is vital to have the right relationships in place as you navigate this environment. It can be helpful to focus on some basics such as doing business with people you trust and staying true to your values.

Do Business with People You Trust
Business and farm owners in…

Recession? A Disconnect Between Data and Behavior  

With historically high employment, high wages and high consumer spending, it is hard to believe that the current economic circumstances are technically defined as recessionary. The big question is not whether the U.S. is currently in a recession – the big question is what’s coming next? Are the economy’s problems going to get worse in the coming months? Will the situation level out or possibly even improve?

Many key indicators such as high inflation, market volatility, rising interest rates and a tightening housing market point to an economy on the brink of recession. But…

Is Your Business Factoring Inflation into its Business Plan?

The January 2022 Consumer Price Index report, which measures inflation levels within the economy, found that inflation jumped 7% during the previous 12 months, the biggest increase since 1982. High inflation levels mean rising costs for consumers and businesses alike, and as small or privately-held businesses currently make up more than 99% of companies in the U.S., inflation can have a large impact on these organizations if not properly planned for and addressed. Now, with the Federal Reserve poised to increase interest rates, getting ahead of inflation is even more important for business owners to ensure they…

Is Your Small Business Accounting for Inflation?

Inflation is top-of-mind for many Americans, including business owners. Small or privately-held businesses currently make up more than 99% of companies in the U.S. and inflation can have a large impact on these organizations if not properly planned for and addressed. Getting ahead of inflation is even more challenging for smaller businesses because they don’t usually have a dedicated, in-house finance and accounting team constantly reviewing financial statements, monitoring expenses and calculating profitability.

When inflation occurs, each dollar spent doesn’t go as far as it did before which ultimately decreases buying power. For example, consider a construction business….

Understanding Floating and Fixed Interest Rates: Should You Swap?

Interest rates are currently at record lows due to the Federal Reserve’s response to COVID-19 and will likely stay low until the U.S. has recovered economically from the pandemic. With such low rates, business owner borrowers may want to consider an interest rate swap if they are looking for a low, long-term fixed interest rate.

Fixed rate vs. floating rate
A fixed rate is an interest rate that will not change for the duration of a loan agreement. With this type of loan, businesses are immune to changing interest rates by settling on a long-term, fixed interest rate. For example, individuals…

Construction Financing for your Business

Are you considering building your own building or doing a major renovation to your current building? If so, this article provides insight on the process of working with a bank to fund your project.

When providing funds to support construction financing, the bank assumes the risk associated with the customer’s ability to successfully complete a proposed project on time and within budget. To monitor each project’s progress, costs and loan disbursements, the bank has an established construction loan administration process. This process is essential to effectively controlling construction risk and providing the client, contractor and bank with a predictable and…

We’re ALL in the People Business

I must admit, I like a good country music song. It takes me back to a more innocent, simple time of my youth working on farms, with my hands, learning how to be part of a team. One of my favorite country singers is Tim McGraw and I love his song, ‘Humble and Kind.’ The song tells us to, “Hold the door, say please, say thank you; don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie; I know you have mountains to climb but always stay humble and kind.”

These lyrics remind me that…

Servant Leadership for Business Success

Leadership is a hot topic in the business world. Many keynote speakers and books focus on helping leaders learn how to be the best they can be for their teams. My belief is that leaders like myself can learn the most about ourselves and others when we set out to be more servant-like rather than by using our position and/or titles to ‘get our own way.’

Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and a set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the…

Agricultural Diversification: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

For hundreds of years, Americans and the world have benefitted from farmers working their land. Over the same centuries, farmers have lived through many boom and bust cycles, dry and wet seasons, and fluctuations in commodity prices and input costs. They’ve had to diversify their income streams by working smarter – not harder. Through it all, the American farmer has learned the validity of the age old lesson of ‘not having all of your eggs in one basket’.

Applying this old adage to their everyday lives, farmers have diversified their income streams in a variety of ways. For example, many…

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