6 Considerations for Refreshing Your Business Plan


With the first half of 2022 behind us, it is clear that rising interest rates, inflation, supply chain issues, and worker shortages will continue to challenge businesses. Now is a great time to revisit your business plan. Here are six things to consider:

  1. Account for inflation and interest rate increases: Inflation had a big impact on the bottom line of many businesses in 2021, and coupled with rising interest rates, the impact will only be exacerbated in 2022. Business owners need to plan for higher costs. How do things like increasing employee wages, paying more for supplies, and the sharp increase in fuel prices affect your business? Will you be able to pass some of these increased costs onto customers through higher prices for goods and services? You should also look at what your business owes and the current rates you pay for your debt. It may be time to work with your lender to lock in financing solutions to avoid the impact of additional anticipated interest rate increases.
  2. Solidify your business succession plans: The pandemic pushed many business owners towards retirement. For others, it has reminded them of the importance of planning ahead for your eventual exit from the company. It’s helpful to develop a succession plan sooner than later. This process can involve many complex financial decisions, from deciding whether to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan to considering a sale of the business. Univest’s Integrated Client Strategies team serves as a single point of contact aimed at optimizing everything you own and owe, personally and professionally. They provide tailored solutions aimed at executing the vision you have for the legacy of your business.
  3. Review employee benefits and retirement plan offerings: Given the “Great Resignation,” it is vital for business owners to assess the benefits they offer to employees. A comprehensive benefits package can help you compete in a tight labor market. Consider working with a strategic partner, as the employee benefits consultants at Univest Insurance, to create a package aimed at attracting and retaining top talent.

    One of the key benefits business owners can offer is a competitive employer-sponsored retirement plan. It’s important to work with a retirement plan specialist who can navigate the unique needs of your company and your staff. If you already have a retirement plan, has it been recently reviewed and audited by a retirement plan professional? If not, the team at Girard, a Univest Wealth Division, can help.
  4. Cash is king: In the current high-inflation environment, it’s imperative for business owners to maintain a healthy reserve of cash on hand to cover any unanticipated increases in business costs. It is important to consider building up this cash reserve now before interest rate hikes and inflation have an even bigger impact on your business’s liquidity. Talk to your accountant, banking partner, and other financial advisors to help set goals for your liquidity levels.
  5. Beware of fraud: What do you have in place to help protect your business from financial fraud attempts? It is imperative to consider treasury management solutions such as Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay to help ensure that only legitimate, authorized transactions are processed.

    Cyber liability insurance also needs to be considered. With online business activity increasing, there are new threats that business owners need to be prepared for such as computer viruses, data breaches, malicious hacking, and other cybercrimes.
  6. Review your personal financial plan: The economic factors impacting your business also have an effect on your personal financial plan. Key things to consider include having an up-todate estate plan, reviewing your investment portfolio to ensure your asset allocations are aligned with your risk tolerance, considering personal debt ahead of additional interest rate hikes, and reviewing your approach to personal savings, whether that be for retirement, college tuition or a vacation home.

As you consider how to refine your business plan based on current conditions, consult your team of advisors, including your accountant, attorney, and financial professionals. Univest has a team of experienced business lenders and financial advisors available to assist. Contact us at univest@univest.net to start the conversation.

Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC, Equal Opportunity, and SBA Preferred Lender.

Insurance products offered through Univest Insurance, Inc. are obligations of the issuing insurance companies.

Girard® is a marketing name used by Univest Financial Corporation to provide (1) investment and wealth management, fiduciary services and trust services through its subsidiary Univest Bank and Trust Co., (2) specific fiduciary and investment advisory services through Girard Advisory Services, LLC (3) securities products, insurance products and brokerage services through Girard Investment Services, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and (4) investment management and related products and services to Pennsylvania municipal entities through Girard Pension Services, LLC

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