Over the last several years, small companies all over the nation have encountered many obstacles. Inflation is now taking its toll on small company owners, on top of Covid-19 and supply chain difficulties.
In October 2021, the US Chamber of Commerce announced its most recent Small Business Index. According to the research, company owners are dealing with the effects of inflation in various ways. Some small company owners are raising prices. Others have chosen to cut worker numbers to counter rising costs.
Meanwhile, almost half of small firms have taken out a GAD’ No Credit Check loan to deal with inflation-related issues—45 percent of small company owners have done so.
Inflation Rates Right Now
According to the Consumer Price Index, between December 2020 and December 2021, consumers in the United States experienced a 7% price rise across the board. The 7% rise is the country’s most remarkable year-over-year (YOY) inflation rate in four decades, going back to 1981.
Food and energy costs are two of the most significant factors to growing inflation rates.
- Food prices have risen at least 0.5 percent for ten months in a row (January 2021 to January 2022), resulting in a 7 percent increase in the total food index.
- Over the previous year, energy costs have climbed by 27%.
The Effects of Inflation on Small Business Operations
Many Americans are feeling the consequences of inflation on household budgets. Furthermore, higher prices might significantly influence a small business’s bottom line.
According to the Small Company Index, over 75% of small business owners are concerned about how inflation may affect their operations. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of small company owners (71%) believe the increased rates they’re paying in many places have already substantially affected their businesses.
According to a second poll conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), inflation is the main issue impacting 22% of small company owners. Another significant issue is a labor shortage, with almost half of employers (47 percent) reporting that they cannot fill job positions.
Inflation may also have a trickle-down impact on small enterprises, posing a variety of obstacles to overcome, such as:
- Problems with cash flow
- Sales are down.
- Employees are clamoring for more pay.
- Profit margins are shrinking.
- Customer satisfaction is declining.
- a state of financial distress
What Kinds of Businesses Are the Most Affected?
Many different sorts of companies may be affected by inflation. Some businesses, though, are more prone to suffer than others. At the same time, increased expenses may help specific sectors.
Businesses that need to buy or have a large number of goods on hand are the ones that are most affected by inflation. This group might include retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
Businesses in the real estate and mortgage sectors, on the other hand, may enjoy more commissions and profits as a result of higher sales prices. The growing costs of raw materials may also benefit raw material producers (e.g., mining firms, timber companies, and so on).
Should You Get a Business Loan to Handle Inflation?
Many company owners look for loans to help them cope with the effects of inflation on their operating expenses. In response to inflation-related issues, over half of the small company owners have taken out a business loan in the last year.
However, before you decide to borrow money, you should consider if this is the best course of action for your organization. If you’re considering taking out a company loan to help you deal with the consequences of inflation, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
- How much can your company safely pay back each month?
- Is it possible to utilize the money you borrow to help your company grow (by recruiting more staff, investing in new technology to enhance operations, marketing to new clients, purchasing real estate, and so on)?
- Will your credit score make it more difficult or easier to approve a loan?
- Are you able to match the loan conditions to get a business loan?
If you wish to refinance a company loan, borrowing money can be a good idea. If you can get a new loan with a lower interest rate to pay off previous debt, you may be able to save money and unexpectedly counteract inflation.
If you decide to borrow money for your company, make sure you shop around and investigate various financing choices. Comparing multiple loan offers can put you in a better position to acquire the most acceptable small business financing possible.
Other Inflation-Prevention Strategies for Businesses
A small company loan may be a practical approach to mitigate the impacts of inflation in certain instances. However, company finance isn’t the only option. Here are three alternatives to consider if you want to safeguard your small company against inflation.
1. Price Increases for Goods and Services
The most common strategy for small companies to combat the consequences of inflation is to raise prices. According to the US Small Business Administration, three out of five small firms increased their pricing last year. The Chamber of Commerce is a business organization.
Price hikes, of course, carry the risk of upsetting your consumers. This may result in fewer sales and perhaps the loss of specific customers.
As a result, you may want to consider whether targeted price hikes of certain items or services are a better option for your business. Instead of increasing expenses for all clients, you might boost pricing on a case-by-case basis.
It may also be beneficial to provide more advantages to clients in return for higher rates. If you believe that price hikes are required for your company, try offering free delivery, more extended warranties, additional services, gifts with purchase, and future purchase discounts.
2. Reduce the number of employees and the amount of money spent on payroll.
In times of inflation, another typical tactic used by small enterprises is to reduce employees. According to the Small Company Index for Q4 2021, 41% of small business owners have reduced their workforce last year.
There are, of course, drawbacks to downsizing your workforce. So, before you make a decision that might injure your company rather than benefit it, make sure to assess your circumstances properly. If you must proceed with layoffs, be sure that your choices are made in a non-discriminatory manner.
3. Reduce the Deliverables
Instead of raising prices, some companies are adopting a different strategy. Your firm may be able to reduce costs in a manner that is more pleasant (and potentially less obvious) to its consumers by giving somewhat less of a product or service for the same price.
Inflation may put a strain on finances, particularly for small company owners. However, there are some techniques you may use to mitigate the effects of inflation and maintain your company’s health.
Take the time to explore a small business loan if you feel it may benefit you. Comparing several loans has the potential to save your company a lot of money in the long run in terms of interest and fees.