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Davis Journal

It’s time for a checkup to kick-start your business

Feb 17, 2023 10:24AM ● By Becky Ginos

Aikta Marcoulier, SBA’s regional administrator gives tips on how small businesses can thrive in uncertain times. Courtesy photo

SALT LAKE CITY—Running a small business in uncertain times can be difficult. As the economy starts to move beyond the pandemic, it’s a good time to do a “checkup” to assess whether your business is ready for what’s yet to come.

“Take care of the health of your business,” said Aikta Marcoulier, SBA’s regional administrator. “Get that workforce back in the door and committed to work.”

Owners are out there making sales and running the cash register, she said. “They forget to look at the baseline of their business. What is the foundation? What are the risks? A checkup gives a good understanding of where you’re at.”

Coming out of the pandemic is an uncertain time, said Marcoulier. “You don’t have a crystal ball. Get your ducks in a row and have a plan B or C or D. Be prepared for everything. Have continuity in your process so you know where you’re at and know what to do.”

Marcoulier said owners should understand their own finances. “Don’t just depend on your CPA or CFO. You could be subject to fraud. Know the numbers yourself, don't just rely on the person who is helping you.”

Have short-term and long-term plans, she said. “Make a three year, five year plan and do it right now. See what your cash flow is right now.”

The financial piece includes a lot, said Marcoulier. “There’s an unknown supply chain and international unrest. You have to plan for what the next steps are. Make your projections and look where you can cut back.”

If there are unpaid bills, meet with the creditor to get back ahead, she said. “It may be time to renegotiate terms or change payment amounts on overdue bills. Past due accounts payable and inconsistent payment practices won’t help your long-term credit position.”

Part of the checkup is to ensure mental wellness in employees, Marcoulier said. “Get up to speed on your human resource policies and practices.”

Make sure cyber security is safe, she said. “Use best practices to protect the data you’re collecting about your customers.”

A lot of businesses are holding onto that money so they cut back on marketing, Marcoulier said. “They increase their SEO so they can be found. But businesses need customers. It’s not the time to cut back on marketing. Look at your marketing plan and keep going even when you may not have the money to spend.”

Utah has a great small business administration, she said. “They will meet with you for free and walk you through it and support you so that you’re not alone. There is a team onsite to answer any business questions. They have a network of partnerships for all of Utah. Go to, they have the resources that businesses need.” 

A checkup will help a business grow and be successful now and for years to come, said Marcoulier. “Take the time and get it done. It will be so incredibly helpful in the long run.”

It’s time to reset, she said. “It’s OK if it’s not great. But it’s good to know where you’re at.”