Family-Owned Business Challenge: A Family Member Isn’t Pulling Their Weight

Working with members of your family can be a rewarding experience, but it can also present some challenges. If a family member fails to contribute properly, the managers/owner may not be quick to correct the behavior. After all, how can one be harsh with family?

If you find yourself in a position where one family member isn’t pulling their weight, use these six steps to improve the health of your business. Continue reading “Family-Owned Business Challenge: A Family Member Isn’t Pulling Their Weight”

The Un-Mixed Blessings of Commercial Real Estate

The outlook for the commercial real estate market in 2016 is considered to be very good with a few minor areas of concern. Overall growth has been particularly strong over the past year.  According to Real Capital Analytics there was a total of $533 billion in commercial real estate sales in 2015 representing a 23% gain over 2014. Last year also saw the second highest level of investment ever, trailing only 2007.  Plus, the Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price Indices are predicting price increases of 12% this year over 2015.  Nationally, steadily growing demand and declining vacancy rates are seen as signs that this upward trend will persist. Continue reading “The Un-Mixed Blessings of Commercial Real Estate”

Municipal facelifts: To finance or not to finance – that is the question

Municipal infrastructure & equipment upkeep is expensive.  City/Town councils or commissions have to make hard decisions every day on how to finance capital projects – the big question is to borrow money or save over time and pay with cash.  Sounds much like a personal budget dilemma – and in fact, it is.

Continue reading “Municipal facelifts: To finance or not to finance – that is the question”

Is it time to grow your small business?

Sales are great. Customers keep coming back. Your cash flow is positive.

Congratulations! It sounds like your small business has successfully capitalized on a great idea. It might be time to expand.

At Litchfield Bancorp we know that small businesses are the workhorses that drive the U.S. economy.  We love seeing them grow and prosper. 

Continue reading “Is it time to grow your small business?”

Why should a business bank with a local community bank?

I have spent my long banking career at a few (some people say “a number”) of banks here in Connecticut.  At each stop I have had the pleasure of working with small and medium sized businesses who work every day to promote their products and provide jobs for thousands of people in our state.  Each of those businesses also realize that the communities that they are in are very important to the success of their business.  It is those people in the community who buy their products, educate their employees and their employees’ children, and provide a secure environment in which to live.

Continue reading “Why should a business bank with a local community bank?”

5 small business start-up must do’s

We applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of those who take the plunge to start their own business. Whether you will be cleverly filling a retail niche or hanging a professional shingle, there are “must do’s” that apply to virtually all start-ups.

A key takeaway is that even if you are striking out on your own as a solo practitioner, you really do have to build a team to be effective and successful. Most of our tips involve making sure you have the right folks in place to support your nascent enterprise.

When planning your business, add these five “must do’s” to your agenda:

Continue reading “5 small business start-up must do’s”

Should I use a line of credit for business working capital?

Getting caught in a cash flow crunch is an all-too-common headache for even the most successful small business owners. It’s the reason why 29% of startups fail, the second most common cause behind “no market for the product,” according to research by CB Insights. Even profitable small businesses that don’t have a substantial cash cushion can meet this unfortunate fate.

There are multiple options for averting a cash crisis, but all are definitely not equal. For example, it’s tempting for owners to whip out a business credit card (or even a personal card) for a cash advance or to cover an unexpected expense. Viewed as a very short-term boost, the quick credit card solution comes with earnest plans to pay it off just as quick, in a month or two, max.

Continue reading “Should I use a line of credit for business working capital?”