Earlier this week I interviewed Maria Coyne, Executive Vice President for KeyBank, to get her take on what business owners are concerned about these days — and what to do about it:
- With energy costs up and real estate values down in many parts of the United States, some business owners feel unsettled. Tips: During uncertain economic times make it a priority to manage your cash flow. Stay on top of your receivables, stretch out your payables if you can, and carefully assess the timing of any growth initiatives. Be proactive in talking with your banker, who can help you maintain your financing even during challenging times.
- Health care costs continue to be top of mind. High deductible plans and health savings accounts (HSAs) are available to ease some of the costs, but awareness is still a big issue. Tips: Make it a goal to talk with your insurance agent and financial institution and learn more about these newer health care cost-management options like HSAs.
- Hiring qualified workers has been a major challenge for some time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Tips: Shift your focus to retaining the employees you have. If existing employees are not currently qualified for certain roles, invest in training them. That could be an easier way to fill a key position than going after a new hire.
Maria is head of Key4Women, Key’s women-owned business banking program. Key4Women offers education and networking opportunities for women business owners. Key4Women partners with other women’s organizations, including NAWBO, Women President’s Organization, and eWomenNetwork.