Yes, it’s December. We’re having a hard time believing that too – the year has whizzed by – but December it is, and that means it’s planning time.
Here are the five key areas we see as essential for your 2023 success, in the order we recommend considering them. You’ll notice that the same item appears first and last on the list. Read on to discover why!
The SBA lending landscape is changing as interest rates rise and the economy slows. With those factors in mind, what are your 2023 goals? Don’t forget that – with interest rates rising and the economy slowing – you’re likely to experience an increase in troubled loans needing attention!
As might be expected, SBA activity at our clients is slowing, since interest-rate changes create less demand for SBA lending. Our clients are taking action by moving staff to new roles (some of which may be unfamiliar to them) or, in the worst-case scenarios, laying off staff.
Those staffing changes have ripple effects. People are being asked to take on new roles and cover areas they’ve either never encountered before, or haven’t touched in years. Who on your teams needs training, whether for a new role or as a refresher course? Don’t let the slowdown in activity cause complacency; it’s still painful when mistakes are made or balls are dropped.
Changes to staff can leave shortfalls when unexpected needs arise. Consider who your go-to outsourcing partners are for support in such things as loan reviews, updates to SBA SOPs, troubled loan management, and so on. Of course we’d like you to pick us – but whoever your preference may be, it’s wise to be prepared with someone on tap.
All this means budgets need to be reviewed and revised, based on staffing adjustments, potential outsourcing needs, and, of course, training. We’ve seen too many SBA departments cutting training budgets just when they’re needed most, and incurring costs due to entirely preventable mistakes.
Why are we putting goals first and last on the list? Because once you’ve set your 2023 goals, reviewed staffing, training, budget, and outsourcing options, it’s helpful to come back and revisit the goals you started with and see if – with these other factors in mind – those goals need adjusting.
We do this too!
We go through our own annual review process, looking at the clients we serve, seeing who might need extra help (or, yes, less help!), and thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2023.
And with our process in mind, we’d like to offer you one extra bonus tip:
Give yourself time!
Take the time you need. Don’t rush. Be realistic. Stretch goals are all very well, but even the stretchiest rubber band only goes so far before it snaps. There’s still a lot of stress and overwhelm in the world, so don’t push too hard. You and your staff deserve a productive and humane workplace.
And speaking of giving ourselves time, we’ll be off the last week of December, back and ready to go on January 3rd. If you need help with your planning process, including defining training options (for instance), now is the time to get in touch. Call us at 877 576 0819, or use our Contact form to reach out.