The small business community will have some major hurdles to overcome in 2013.
If you were with us earlier this month, then you probably caught our live blog on the Restaurant Financing and Development Conference in Las Vegas. The tone of the sessions and the words on the lips of the attendees were very telling and provided some great insight into the restaurant and small business outlook for the coming years.
Hurdle #1 – Healthcare Reform
It’s no secret that Obamacare is going to hit small businesses hard and there is still some uncertainty about exactly how its impact will be felt. One thing is for sure, though, there will definitely be increased overhead and major fees if your business doesn’t comply. Facing costs of close to $4,000 per employee, some restaurants and small businesses have said that they plan to cut many of their full time workers down to part time hours to try to get around the requirements that kick in at 30 full time employees. Having more employees working less hours is bound to have an impact on your small business, and it’s likely not going to be a positive one.
Hurdle #2 – Increasing cost of commodities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report warning every American to expect to pay 3-4% more for groceries next year. That has the potential to hit you hard if you’re operating a restaurant – or even if you’re not as the impact of commodities prices tend to be wide ranging. Increased prices for cotton, for example, could impact clothing retailers. Worse yet, increases in coffee could mean it’ll be more expensive to just keep your break room coffee pots burning.
Hurdle #3 – Knowing when to seek out financing
One major takeaway from the RFDC conference this month was the fact that lenders are ready and willing to lend, but small business owners are wary about seeking out lending. Sure, it makes sense that small business owners will be cautious about taking on a loan during times of uncertainty, but some experts are saying that that is really the best time to get financial assistance.
A loan like a working capital loan* could be just the thing a small business owner needs to make up for some lacking cash flow or to help offset those big hits from Obamacare. Small business owners will need to overcome their apprehension in order to take the steps necessary to stay afloat in 2013 and reinvest in their business.
Despite the hurdles that we predict for 2013, we are confident that the small business community will pull through and come out even stronger on the other side. What challenges are you predicting at your business?
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT