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Published February 04, 2021
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Bruce Morse, regional director, Wyoming SBDC Network
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed for many small-business owners is that they were not as prepared as they could have been for a dramatic financial downturn. This can happen in any economic dip or natural disaster, but the COVID-19 situation hit companies across the world all at once.
What we also know is that those businesses that were positioned better financially going into the pandemic have been able to withstand the resulting hardship far better than those who were not as sound financially. Having cash reserves; access to funds, such as a revolving line of credit; and lower debt loads to service made sleeping at night much easier.
It's a little late now to go back and get a financial “do-over,” but we can be better prepared for the next time a disaster strikes -- whatever it may look like.
The Wyoming SBDC Network has a program that businesses can take advantage of, at no cost, that can help make owners better financial managers of their businesses.
It is called a Financial Health Check-Up, and it uses a combination of computer software and SBDC internal expertise in the area of financial analysis to help business owners feel more comfortable with their financial reports. Many, in fact probably most, business owners would rather sell their service or manufacture their product than spend time looking at numbers. However, they also realize that it is important to the long-term success of their enterprise.
The SBDC’s free program consists of a computer analysis of a business’s historical financial data that will compare a local business to others in that industry as well as look at trends within the business itself. The result is an easy-to-read narrative report that can be viewed by the owner or with the assistance of a Wyoming SBDC Network counselor.
Another aspect of this program is the ability to do some forecasting and see what the financial picture might look like if certain changes were implemented. With any projection, there are lots of variables and uncertainty, but at least it gives businesses a place to start. To learn more about this service, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network for no-cost, confidential assistance at www.wyomingsbdc.org.
If business owners really want to dig deep into their financial numbers and learn to manage that part of the business thoroughly, they will want to register for upcoming Profit Mastery webinars. This free series will take place weekly from Feb. 11 to March 25 to provide independent business owners with an unparalleled financial perspective as well as the tools to take advantage of opportunities and deal with challenges. To register for the webinar series, go to www.wyomingsbdc.org/events/profit-mastery-series/.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers no-cost advising and technical assistance to help Wyoming entrepreneurs think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. In 2020 alone, the Wyoming SBDC Network helped Wyoming entrepreneurs start 95 new businesses; support 6,954 jobs; and bring a capital impact of $18 million to the state. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.