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  • Content Expert: Banking

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    After such a complicated year in 2020, it’s tempting to put our heads down and just push forward without a real plan. After all, who knows what 2021 has in store? Don’t fall into that trap. Preparation is key to take advantage of whatever 2021 has in store for you and your business. Here are four steps to take:
    1. ASK “WHAT IF?” It’s virtually impossible to plan for a situation like 2020 but attempt to think through all potential challenges and opportunities your business could face in 2021 and how you would address them. Ask as many “what ifs” as you can think of. Reflect on what you’ve been through as a business in 2020 (and prior), assess how you resolved those situations, and have a game plan moving forward.
    2. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BANKER. Your banker should be a trusted advisor. Once you start planning for potential risks and opportunities, have a conversation with your banker. If your banker understands your business and the local business community, they can potentially play a key role in solution development and could have ideas that you haven’t thought of. Maybe your banker has experience with alternative or non-traditional programs or sources of funding. If you’re communicating frequently, your banker can add value when developing a game plan.
    3. PLAN FOR GROWTH. Once you’ve developed your plans for potential challenges and opportunities in 2021, ask yourself the types and amounts of funding you might need for each situation. Opportunities can put just as much of a strain on capital as challenges can. For example, maybe you need a line of credit to facilitate growth created by your online business. Perhaps you put off a big equipment purchase in 2020 that you’ll need to make in 2021. Determine with your banker the best funding source for each need.
    4. INVEST IN YOUR TEAM. Your people are your most valuable asset. In 2020, with employees working from home, traditional modes of communication have been disrupted, leaving some team members feeling disconnected. It’s critical to make sure your employees are engaged and that they understand how important they are.
    Remember that crises lead to opportunities. The things that made you successful prior to 2020—your thought process and how you assess opportunities—haven’t gone away. Resilient business people will have opportunities to succeed in 2021 and beyond. Ask us how Valley Bank can help you take advantage of the opportunities coming your way.

    Dean Peevy is a Vice President and Commercial Banker for Valley Bank in Montgomery. Born and raised in Montgomery, he has been a banker for nearly 20 years. He can be reached at dpeevy@valley.com or 334-270-3003.

    Valley National Bank is a Member FDIC and Equal Opportunity Lender.
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