Small Business 101


Small Business 101 webinar series Logo

Last month Consumers Credit Union and Southwest Michigan First hosted a series of webinars for small business owners and entrepreneurs. We know successful small business owners can see a need in a market and fill it, but sometimes that “big picture” thinking makes the fine details harder to focus on. It’s so easy to overlook or put off updating your financial statements or prepare for increased employee benefits costs. Our series focused on the necessities no small business owner should forget in the day-to-day.

Banking Basics

Staying on top of your books from the very beginning will give your business the strongest start it can have. Regularly scheduled time to update and review your financial statements or meet with your accountant will help you scenario-plan so you are prepared to keep your business profitable and sustainable. Listen to our panelists Bede Obasi, founder & principal at Precision CPA; Steve Howard, chief financial officer, and Shannon Dwyer, business development manager, at Consumers Credit Union.

Securing Capital

Finding funding for your small business is daunting, whether you’re just starting out or trying to grow your established business with new funding sources. The most important takeaway from our panelists Tamara Davis, regional director of the Southwest Michigan Small Business Development Center; Jaime Hess, wwner of Kids Court Daycare; and Sandy Bloem, business development manager at Consumers Credit Union is not to go it alone! The experts at places like the Small Business Development Center, Consumers and other financial institutions have vast wells of funding know-how. They can help you evaluate your needs to find the right solutions for your business. And talking to other successful business owners can put you on the right track to find the partners you need; they’ve been in your shoes and are happy to tell you how they got where they are today.

Planning for Growth

Sometimes changes can hit your business as dramatically as a tidal wave (ahem, COVID-19), but sometimes changes sneak up on you from slower forces you might not have seen coming. Not many of us were prepared for a pandemic and an almost complete societal shutdown, but what about a road closure outside your business, are you prepared to have no road traffic to your location? Our experts hammered back to the basics: if you know your numbers, have studied your profit and loss statements, and trust in your financial partners, you’ll be better able to predict, prepare for and ride out any storm. Take it from our experts Susan Culhane, employee benefits department manager at Nulty Insurance; Steve Owens, chief lending officer, and Jeremy Prins, a [now former] senior business development manager, at Consumers Credit Union.

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