Planning for Growth: Regions Bank Survey Finds Businesses Will Increase Investments in Key Areas
Regions Next Step offers guidance and resources as businesses eye expansion
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According to the survey, roughly nine in 10 businesses (89%) are planning to increase investments in a key business area in the next 12 months. When asked to select all areas in which companies plan to increase investments, the top two responses were technology or e-commerce platforms (63%) and sales, marketing and advertising (54%).
The results highlight an important shift in business confidence. A Regions Next Step small-business survey in 2020 showed only 46% of small-business owners surveyed were planning to increase investments in a key business area in the coming year, likely due to economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19. When those respondents were asked to select all areas in which they expected to increase investments during that time, only 18% said technology or e-commerce platforms, and 12% said sales, marketing or advertising.
“The 2021 survey confirms what our Commercial Banking teams at
The 2021 survey also found nearly two in three businesses (61%) plan to seek additional financing to cover a major investment or expense in the next 12 months. Additionally, approximately one in three businesses said access to capital would have the most significant impact on their company’s success.
“At Regions, we know our business clients, and we know their unique business needs,” said
While many business owners and executives are seeking financing, the 2021 survey also found they may need guidance on how to do so. Results show approximately half of respondents said they were not very knowledgeable about the business loan application process (50%) and various types of business loans available (54%). Additionally, 40% did not feel very knowledgeable about building business credit or cash flow management. Businesses with under 50 employees were the least knowledgeable on these topics, the survey showed.
Other key findings of the survey included:
- According to those surveyed, quality of workforce (35%), access to labor (34%) and inflation (20%) are expected to have a significant impact on business success in the next 12 months.
- In addition to increased technology expenses, nearly one quarter of businesses (23%) anticipated expenses will increase for materials.
- A little more than half of respondents (54%) did not feel very prepared when it comes to disaster planning and recovery.
- While at least three in four businesses have various fraud prevention measures in place, only one in four respondents (40%) felt somewhat prepared when it comes to mitigating the risk of business fraud.
Regions Next Step also recommends the following for businesses focused on growth:
- Adopt cash-management strategies. It’s important to have a cash-management strategy that adapts to times of stability or disruption – and positions a business for growth. Listen to this podcast to learn what to consider in today’s competitive environment.
- Prepare for the loan process. Seeking financing from a bank is about having the right documentation, as well as starting a relationship with a strategic business partner, like an attorney, business advisor, etc., as well as a commercial lender who understands business goals and needs. Check out this article for what to expect and how to prepare.
- Determine how much a business can afford. When working to secure a business loan, make sure the monthly payments can be covered. Regions’ free Business Loan Calculator can help assess how much a business can afford to borrow.
- Promote the business. Promoting a business affects how lenders, banks and customers perceive it. Watch the webinar “Steering Your Business Toward Success in the ‘New Normal’” for ideas for powerful promotion.
For more guidance on growing a business and securing financing, visit Regions.com/NextStepforBusiness.
The Regions Next Step omnibus survey questions were part of a national online survey that took place