11 Sample Business Plans to Help You Write Your Own

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game they coach. To have a fighting chance against any of their opponents, they need to prepare a specific game plan tailored to each of their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, they’ll get crushed.

The same logic applies to business. If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare yourself for battle before you break into a market. Because companies who can find gaps in your business model will quickly learn how to fill those gaps and solve your customers’ problems better than you can.

The business world moves fast, and it’s full of ambitious companies scrambling to gain the majority of their industry’s market share. So how do you keep up? Writing a viable business plan and following it religiously is one of the most important first steps.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. Referencing one throughout your voyage will keep you on the path toward success. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

But how do you actually write a viable and convincing business plan?

Below, let's review the format of a business plan and sample business plans you can use to inspire your own.

Business Plan Format

Before you get started on your business plan, you might be wondering, "Where do I start? How should I format this?"

Typically, a business plan is a document that will detail how a company will achieve its goals.

Most business plans include the following sections:

  • Executive summary: This section will include an overview of the company, your unique value proposition, and a team overview.
  • Market opportunity: This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market. Where is the gap in the current industry and how will your product fill that gap?
  • Key features and benefits: At some point in your business plan, you'll review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.
  • Pricing and revenue: This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams.
  • Target audience: This section will describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?
  • Marketing strategy: Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy.
  • Competitive landscape: This is where you'll detail who the top competitors are.
  • Financials: This is where you'll detail the funding that's required and discuss investment opportunities.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details you'll want to include.

Keep in mind, that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others will be in charts.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some templates.

Sample Business Plan Templates

1. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

We created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

HubSpot's business plan template.Click here to download the template.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business, so you’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it. There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a viable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

2. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

HubSpot's one-page business plan.

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot, and is perfect for businesses of any size -- no matter how much strategy they still have to develop. 

Including fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline, this one-page business plan gives businesses a framework for how to build their brand and what tasks to keep track of as they grow. Then, as the business matures, it can expand on its original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

3. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

Fictional business plan by ThoughtCo.

If you want to reference an actual business plan while writing your own, ThoughtCo’s got you covered. They created a fictional company called Acme Management Technology and wrote an entire business plan for them.

Using their sample business plan as a guide while filling out your own will help you catch and include small yet important details in your business plan that you otherwise might not have noticed.

4. BPlan’s Free Business Plan Template

BPlan's free business plan template.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’ financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

5. Harvard Business Review’s “How to Write a Winning Business Plan”

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level -- it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum, you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service and the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture, rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

6. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business. Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details of your business by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, fund your business, gives information about small business tax, and provides marketing, sales, and service tips.

7. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

Panda Doc free business plan template.

Panda Doc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each of its sections, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to your business’ success.

8. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

Small Business Administration sample business plan.

The Small Business Administration offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan. Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need -- a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

9. Culina Sample Business Plan

Culina sample business plan template.

Culina's sample business plan is a great template to use if you just want to fill in your information. You can also use this template as a guide while you're gathering important details. After looking at this sample, you'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do for your own business plan.

10. Plum Sample Business Plan

Plum sample business plan.

This is one of my favorite sample business plans, because you can see how implementing visuals can help tell the story of your brand. The images in this template are cutting edge, which makes sense for an innovative company like Plum. When you create your own business plan, make sure that the pictures and design you use make sense for your branding.

Additionally, the financial charts included are incredibly helpful if you're not sure what financial information to include.

11. LiveShopBuy Sample Business Plan

LiveShopBuy business plan.

With this business plan, the focus is the investment opportunity. This is an excellent template to use if you're going to use your business plan as a means to receive funding. The investment opportunity section is placed right up front and is several pages long. Then, the plan goes into more detail about the company synopsis industry analysis.

When you're first getting starting on your business plan, it can be daunting. That's why it's important to make sure you understand the format and information you'll want to include. Then, you can use a template to guide your process.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.



via Business Feeds

Weekly calls keep students connected to the Institute during a pandemic

When the MIT campus is alive, it nearly sings with innovation and excitement. Students sustain one another with activities ranging from building in makerspaces to psetting in residence halls to pick-up soccer games on the fields. But how can they remain connected during a pandemic, where physical distancing is the new normal? What can replace the informal chats with faculty members after class? Throw in remote learning — and the Infinite Corridor seems infinitely far away.

Enter the MIT Student Success Coaching program, a new initiative for keeping students “connected to the Infinite.” The program, launched by the Division of Student Life (DSL) and the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC), matches students with volunteer “coaches,” or staff or faculty members from several areas of the Institute. In many cases, the coaches may be already known to students through their “day jobs” as athletic coaches, support professionals, or faculty members.

Coaches are assigned anywhere from one to 20 undergraduate students who they will connect with once a week through the end of the semester to see how they are transitioning to online learning and more generally, how they are doing during the Covid-19 crisis. Participating students receive weekly check-ins conducted over Zoom, FaceTime, or even via phone or email.

The program emerged in response to a request from Suzy Nelson, vice president and dean for student life; Ian Waitz, vice chancellor for undergraduate and graduate education; and Krishna Rajagopal, dean for digital learning. The program’s co-chairs are Lauren Pouchak, director of special projects in the OVC; Gustavo Burkett, senior associate dean for diversity and community Involvement in DSL; and Elizabeth Cogliano Young, associate dean and director of first year advising programs in OVC.

Cogliano Young says there are now more than 500 volunteer coaches matched with approximately 4,400 undergraduate students. The program is also open to MIT’s graduate students but it serves a smaller number “since many graduate students may already have regular meetings with advisors,” Pouchak says. The team worked to identify programs where graduate students could benefit from an opt-in coaches program.

Listening is number one

One of the co-chairs’ first tasks was developing a training for the volunteers. They turned to colleagues across the Institute, including Rajagopal, who spoke at the first hour-long virtual training session. In it, he emphasized that the coaches are not meant to replace academic advisors or the student support professionals who work for Student Support Services and GradSupport.

“The number one thing to do is to listen, listen, and listen,” Rajagopal said.

Susanna Barry, senior program manager at MIT Medical, also spoke at the training, and encouraged coaches to empower students to solve their own problems. To that end, a Slack group was formed where coaches can interact with one another and the program co-chairs can share what they are hearing from students, brainstorm approaches to addressing challenges, and develop new ideas for strengthening student connections to the Institute during this period of remote learning.

Pouchak said the Slack channel feedback has meant that issues that have “bubbled up” can be addressed in real-time. For instance, many students reported having trouble sleeping and managing their time while they are off campus. Working with Barry, the co-chairs and a group of “super coaches”  (staff who have particular expertise and experience and work to support students on a daily basis) introduced several new Zoom workshops on topics such as sleep and time management, which include tips such as don’t hit the snooze button and try to get some sunlight before noon every day.

Rachel Shulman, undergraduate academic coordinator for the MIT Energy Initiative, who has been matched with 18 undergraduate students, was eager to share insights with her fellow coaches. She says after initial conversations with several students, she noticed that many have found it hard to stay focused.

“Everyone is distracted, and everyone is having trouble focusing on their lectures, and some are putting pressure on themselves to do as well as they were doing before,” Shulman says. And while some of Shulman’s students have reported they are doing well with the transition to virtual learning, they still appreciate hearing from someone at MIT.

Shulman tells students that the weekly coaching sessions can be whatever students want them to be.

“I’ve told them that if they have specific goals, I can try to help them figure out how to achieve them, or I can connect them with resources. I had one student ask me about the career fair, and it was so great because there’s a Slack channel for the MIT coaches … and I was able to Slack one of them while I was on a Zoom call with the student [so I could answer the student’s question],” Shulman says.

Having a human node in the network

Luke Hartnett, a senior in mechanical engineering, was skeptical of the coaching initiative at first. But, after his first conversation with his coach, he realized that he appreciated the extra support — especially after his 90-year-old grandmother was diagnosed with Covid-19.

“[My coach] was very helpful in talking me through how to deal with school … and planning out for the rest of the semester. Everyone is dealing with something, so I think it’s nice that MIT thought of this unique way to support students,” Hartnett says.

Junior Alex Encinas, another mechanical engineering major, says time management at his home in Houston has been a struggle. He’s committed to following the same schedule that he would have had if he were still on campus, even though he has the option of watching his lecture recordings any time. He says he’s adjusted well to the new routine, but while speaking with his coach, “things started flowing out that I didn’t even know were bothering me … and we just talked through them. It was calming for me,” he says.

Devan Monroe, assistant dean for professional development programs in the Office of Minority Education, says that students are using the program in the way that suits their needs.

“I’ve heard back from five students so far. Most have felt they were in a good place and don’t need the weekly check-ins. I’ve had others who have opted in and requested biweekly meetings rather than weekly,” he says.

Schools are also implementing coaching programs for their cohorts of students. The MIT Sloan School of Management has called for staff members to voluntarily conduct weekly MBA student check-ins, says Jenifer Marshall, associate director of the MBA and MSMS program office.

Marshall says about 90 MIT Sloan staff members volunteered to be matched with MBA students. The students can opt out if they feel they don’t need the extra support. Although every MBA student is already matched with an MBA program advisor, Marshall says that the closure of physical MIT offices prompted the MBA program office to keep the lines of communication open with weekly check-ins because everyone is now remote.

“Students often meet with their advisors because they have an academic or policy question. Once we start talking about that topic, they may feel more comfortable moving into a more personal conversation, whereas they wouldn’t have necessarily led with that. Since we don’t have that nuanced ability to interact with students during this time, we thought that creating a calling plan was important,” Marshall says.

Marshall also encouraged MIT Sloan volunteers to participate in the Institute-wide Student Success Coaching program and has directed them toward the training and support information that the program provided.

MIT Sloan students are particularly concerned about upcoming summer internships and job offers.

“We can’t always resolve students’ concerns in the moment. But … even if there’s not a concrete solution to a problem, connecting with someone, talking through options, and learning about resources can really help. We are all here to support our students,” Marshall says.

One MIT

One unexpected benefit from the weekly check-ins: Coaches are also reporting that the communication is inspiring them and forging new connections with colleagues. Shulman formed a virtual knitting group on the Student Success Team Slack channel and about a dozen people attended the first two sessions.

“In addition to the advantages to the students, the coaches have found community with one another which has become a tremendous resource,” says program co-chair Burkett. “In my opinion, the program has become a real-life example of the idea of ‘One MIT.’”

The MIT Student Success Coaching program is open to any volunteers from MIT, and there are still some graduate students without coaches. To volunteer, email the co-chairs at studentsuccess@mit.edu.



RSS Business Feeds

Consumers Worried About Privacy Rights During and After Pandemic Response

Stances on Pandemic Privacy

As governments across the world look towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 and plug holes in the health care system, a debate has resurfaced over the issue of privacy. This is because medical data companies, governments, and international agencies accessing this information is now a real issue.

Stances on Pandemic Privacy

This has brought to the fore issues on what part of an individual’s personal data should be put in the public’s purview. According to a survey by cybernews, Americans truly value their privacy. Most would oppose intrusive technological measures such as tracking apps to contain the spread of the virus. Even when faced with a major global health threat like the coronavirus.

These concerns stem from the fear such measures will open the doors to greater government surveillance. Especially in the long term, even after the pandemic is over.

In the survey, taken earlier this month, there is a huge support for upholding personal privacy. In fact, 89% of the respondents say they either support or strongly support privacy rights. Over half also (52%) believe retaining their personal privacy is more important than surrendering it to the authorities. Even if it is in order to fight the spread of the pandemic.

Fear of the government’s overreach and intrusions into private data has also prompted almost two thirds (65%) to disapprove of the government collecting their data or using facial recognition to track their whereabouts.

The Survey in Context

The survey was conducted to gauge sentiments among Americans as governments across the world are deploying advanced surveillance methods to track and quell the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case countries like Singapore, Spain and Poland are introducing or preparing to introduce mandatory geolocation and surveillance applications to track COVID-19.

The survey quizzed Americans on four hypothetical scenarios. In the first scenario, almost half (43.19%) say they oppose allowing apps to monitor their geolocations. This is even if they get lower insurance premium rates when they obey the government lockdown. Respondents in favor (27.33%) of the monitoring is almost the same as those who are not sure (29.48%).

The second scenario is whether to grant permission to a state-sponsored app to display your location to others in your city if you contracted COVID-19. Again a majority were in the nay (47.97%). Surprisingly more than a quarter (30.36%) say they will consent while 21.67% didn’t make up their mind.

The third scenario is on the possibility of granting permission to a state-sponsored app to analyze location data transmitted by your phone to determine how many people were abiding by lockdown orders. Again the majority (41.99%) say they will not give permission. However, 36.25 % say they will allow the app to track their whereabouts.

In the fourth scenario, the government makes it mandatory to track people’s locations in an affected area. In this case, 36.89% are on the fence; they are neither negative or positive. Those who viewed it negatively accounted for 29.64% of the respondents, while 16.49% are adamantly against it. Only 9.40 say they are positive, while 7.57% are very positive.

Where do Americans Stand on Personal Privacy

Across the board, the survey indicates Americans strongly value their privacy above everything else. More than half of Americans (52%) believe retaining their personal privacy is more important than surrendering it to the authorities in order to fight the spread of the pandemic. Furthermore, almost two thirds (65.42%) disapprove of the government collecting their data or using facial recognition to track their whereabouts.

The source of distrust seems to stem from fear the government will use these tracking measures for greater surveillance after the pandemic. With an overwhelming 73.7 % saying they are either worried or very worried the pretense of encroaching on private data over the pandemic could be a precursor for greater government surveillance. For the optimists among the respondents, only less than 10% say they are not worried at all.

Even though these scenarios are hypothetical, they point to the need for businesses to be open to any scenario. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic is introducing unchartered waters. Despite the sentiments of small business owners, you have the duty to protect the privacy of your customers. You also have to adhere to state and federal regulations if they become law.

What you can do as a business is to get up to speed on any laws. As well as the possible effects it might have in the event such surveillances become mandatory? This will help you be upfront with your customers and provide information on how those measures can affect them.

Despite what sentiments your customers have towards privacy, you would be showing you have gone out of your way to explain and help your customers navigate the intricacies of any legislation or regulations.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Consumers Worried About Privacy Rights During and After Pandemic Response" was first published on Small Business Trends



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10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

A staggering 22 million jobs have been lost in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic so far. To identify which cities are most susceptible to rising unemployment, WalletHub has released a new report.

Cities with the Biggest Growth in Unemployment to COVID-19’ identifies where businesses and workers have been worse affected by the pandemic. WalletHub, the personal finance website, compared the unemployment rates of 180 cities across the US. The data compared the unemployment rates in March 2020 to those in March 2019 and January 2020.

10 Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

The research found that the ten most affected cities for unemployment during coronavirus are:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Hialeah, FL
  3. North Las Vegas, NV
  4. Miami, FL
  5. Henderson, NV
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Aurora, CO
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Colorado Springs, CO
  11. Reno, NV
  12. Dover, DE
  13. Orlando, FL
  14. Port St. Lucie, FL
  15. Salt Lake City, UT
  16. Long Beach, CA
  17. Santa Clarita, CA
  18. Los Angeles, CA
  19. Chicago, IL
  20. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Unemployment Risen Sharply Since January 2020

One of the worse hit cities Seattle, has seen an 86.92% change in unemployment between March 2020 and March 2019. Between March 2020 and January 2020, the changes to unemployment have been shocking. Hialeah, for example, has witnessed a 145.91% change in unemployment figures during this period.

The report notes how many of the jobs lost in recent weeks have been in non-essential industries. Businesses operating in non-essential industries including tourism, dining and entertainment, have been forced to closed during the pandemic. Even those that have remained open have had to lay off employees and have been hit hard by the shock impact to the economy.

Picking Up After Lockdown Will Be Difficult

The research confirms just how difficult it will be for small businesses in these cities to pick up when lockdown is lifted. The findings highlight the importance of providing local businesses with financial support.

As Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, commented in a Q&A session:

“Cities can minimize the increase in their unemployment rates by providing support to local industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as tourism, retail or entertainment. Though cities don’t have control over when these businesses can reopen, they could provide tax breaks (similar to what the federal government is doing) in order to incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll.

“Some major city mayors are also drawing money from reserve funds or reallocating money that would have been used for less-essential purposes in order to help workers. Mayors can also use their influence to lobby Congress to provide aid to struggling local communities, which several major city mayors have done so far,” Gonzalez continued.

For small businesses, it is important they are informed about the support available to them. It is vital small businesses take advantage of incentives available to help keep staff on the payroll. By getting such support, small businesses will be better equipped to pick up the pieces when shutdown is lifted.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

A staggering 22 million jobs have been lost in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic so far. To identify which cities are most susceptible to rising unemployment, WalletHub has released a new report.

Cities with the Biggest Growth in Unemployment to COVID-19’ identifies where businesses and workers have been worse affected by the pandemic. WalletHub, the personal finance website, compared the unemployment rates of 180 cities across the US. The data compared the unemployment rates in March 2020 to those in March 2019 and January 2020.

10 Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment

The research found that the ten most affected cities for unemployment during coronavirus are:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Hialeah, FL
  3. North Las Vegas, NV
  4. Miami, FL
  5. Henderson, NV
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Aurora, CO
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Colorado Springs, CO
  11. Reno, NV
  12. Dover, DE
  13. Orlando, FL
  14. Port St. Lucie, FL
  15. Salt Lake City, UT
  16. Long Beach, CA
  17. Santa Clarita, CA
  18. Los Angeles, CA
  19. Chicago, IL
  20. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Unemployment Risen Sharply Since January 2020

One of the worse hit cities Seattle, has seen an 86.92% change in unemployment between March 2020 and March 2019. Between March 2020 and January 2020, the changes to unemployment have been shocking. Hialeah, for example, has witnessed a 145.91% change in unemployment figures during this period.

The report notes how many of the jobs lost in recent weeks have been in non-essential industries. Businesses operating in non-essential industries including tourism, dining and entertainment, have been forced to closed during the pandemic. Even those that have remained open have had to lay off employees and have been hit hard by the shock impact to the economy.

Picking Up After Lockdown Will Be Difficult

The research confirms just how difficult it will be for small businesses in these cities to pick up when lockdown is lifted. The findings highlight the importance of providing local businesses with financial support.

As Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, commented in a Q&A session:

“Cities can minimize the increase in their unemployment rates by providing support to local industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as tourism, retail or entertainment. Though cities don’t have control over when these businesses can reopen, they could provide tax breaks (similar to what the federal government is doing) in order to incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll.

“Some major city mayors are also drawing money from reserve funds or reallocating money that would have been used for less-essential purposes in order to help workers. Mayors can also use their influence to lobby Congress to provide aid to struggling local communities, which several major city mayors have done so far,” Gonzalez continued.

For small businesses, it is important they are informed about the support available to them. It is vital small businesses take advantage of incentives available to help keep staff on the payroll. By getting such support, small businesses will be better equipped to pick up the pieces when shutdown is lifted.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 US Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

America’s cities and states face a cash crunch

NO COUNTY IN New York, outside the city and Long Island, has seen more cases of covid-19 than Westchester, just north of the Bronx. For weeks tens of thousands of would-be commuters have been staying home. Bars, restaurants and other businesses have been closed.

Sales-tax revenue, usually around $500m, may be down by as much as $100m this year. With fewer people travelling, hotel-tax receipts will be lower. Meanwhile, spending on emergency and health services has soared. The county may face a shortfall of up to $160m on a $2.1bn annual budget. It can hope for at best limited help from the state of New York, which itself expects a 14% decline in revenue, due to lower corporate- and personal-income-tax receipts, requiring $7.3bn in spending cuts in the next budget. “We’ve done a variety of projections,” explains George Latimer, the county executive: “Bad, worse, even worse and totally horrible.”

Mr Latimer is not alone. Shortfalls have hit local governments...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Melissa Dell wins the John Bates Clark medal

WHEN MELISSA DELL was an undergraduate she heard about some economics research that reminded her of a recent trip to Peru. It was no idle daydream. The study, by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and James Robinson of the University of Chicago, argued that colonial institutions could determine economic performance today. Ms Dell wondered whether Peru’s history might explain its extreme poverty. Her answer to the question has helped her win the John Bates Clark Medal, an award given annually by the American Economic Association to an economist under 40.

The colonial institution was the Spanish-imposed “mita” system in Peru and Bolivia, which between 1573 and 1812 forced a seventh of adult men from indigenous communities to work in silver and mercury mines. This was in place in some regions but not others, allowing Ms Dell to measure its effects. Her results supported the findings of Messrs Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson, that extractive institutions have pernicious and persistent effects. Centuries on, families living just inside mita areas consume 25% less than those just outside them, are less educated and rely more on subsistence farming.

Ms Dell then asked why the mita had such damaging effects. She showed that haciendas, or big agricultural estates, thrived outside...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

How to detect business fraud

LIKE A LOT of people, Carson Block found his vocation by accident. In 2010 he was living in China and trying to set up a business. His father asked him to look at Orient Paper, a Chinese firm listed in New York. He scoured the company’s filings and became doubtful of its claims. That scepticism grew when he visited a factory. He decided to publish a damning report. But first he would bet against the stock to cover his costs. The report went viral. The share price collapsed. Lawsuits were soon flying.

It has been like that ever since. Mr Block is an activist short-seller. His firm, Muddy Waters, borrows shares in a shifty-looking company and then sells them. That allows it to profit from a fall in their value. There is something of the gumshoe about him—imagine Philip Marlowe, the private eye created by Raymond Chandler, but with coarser language. (Example: XYZ Corporation is a “predatory shit-bag”). Instead of pounding the mean streets, Mr Block ploughs through reams of company documents. He makes his findings freely available. He then shows up on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to denounce the bad guys.

More appearances seem assured. The stock of covert embezzlement—what John Kenneth Galbraith, a quotable economist, called “the bezzle”—varies with the business cycle. It grows during booms. Tell people that XYZ Corporation is a...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Politicians in America and Europe scramble to help small firms

RANDY HATHCOCK appeared to be out of options. The time had come for the owner of H&T Truss Mill, a construction company in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to decide how many of his 16 employees to sack. The pandemic had led to orders drying up. Then a lifeline appeared. The Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP), a scheme administered by America’s Small Business Administration, promised enough to cover two-and-a-half months of wages. It was “an answer to our prayers”, says Mr Hathcock. If he retains his staff for two years, the $161,200 loan turns into a grant.

Voters abhor bail-outs when they involve airlines and Wall Street, but seem altogether happier to provide succour to the likes of Mr Hathcock and Main Street. Politicians in America and Europe have all the more reason to help: small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have been clobbered by the pandemic, even more so than their larger peers. Fully 60% of people who worked for businesses with fewer than ten employees in America at the start of the year have since been fired, according to one study. In Britain, seven in ten firms managed by their owners say they have lost over half their revenue.

...


via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

America’s large firms can count on generous government support

BAIL-OUTS ARE often a source of public ire. Americans still seethe over the rescue of banks during the crisis of 2007-09 even as homeowners went bust. The latest group in the spotlight are big firms masquerading as small ones. Companies including Shake Shack, a listed burger franchise, and Potbelly, a meaty sandwich chain, have returned funds granted to them under the $659bn Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP), a scheme primarily designed to help small firms keep employees on their payroll during the pandemic.

Big businesses have facilities of their own to tap. A “Main Street Lending Fund” will soon dispense a total of $600bn to firms with up to 10,000 employees. The Federal Reserve has set aside $750bn to buy corporate bonds.

At first glance the support might appear more generous than the cash set aside for small firms, even when you adjust for their contributions to economic activity (see chart). But the big-company schemes differ from PPP in a crucial aspect...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Why the unemployed in America could face a lost decade

THE FIGURES are staggering, even to those hardened by the experience of the global financial crisis. Disney will furlough 100,000 of its hotel and theme-park workers. Uber may slash its staff by a fifth. Fully 26m new claims for unemployment insurance have been filed in America since late March. By April 18th more than a tenth of participants in the labour force were receiving unemployment benefits, the highest rate on record. In March alone American firms shed more than 700,000 jobs, on net. Another 2m may have gone in April, a drop rivalling the record decline in employment that occurred in 1945, as America’s armed forces demobilised. Covid-19 has spread large-scale economic disruption around the world. It is increasingly clear that the pandemic confronts America with a labour-market crisis not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

How severe will the crisis be? America’s unemployment rate rose to around 10% after the global financial crisis and to 25% during the Depression. Recent forecasts, though beset by uncertainty, put the probable peak rate in 2020 somewhere between those figures. Modelling based on recent filings for benefits suggests that the unemployment rate in mid-April may have been around 16%, according to Ernie Tedeschi of Evercore ISI, a consultancy. An analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the coronavirus...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

The covid-19 crisis exposes the frailties of Germany’s biggest firms

THE DAX INDEX of Germany’s 30 most valuable listed companies holds up a mirror to the world’s fourth-biggest economy. The reflection isn’t pretty. In mid-March the average “price-to-book” ratio of DAX firms’ market capitalisation to the book value of their assets fell below one, which has previously only happened in 2009 and 2011, amid the global financial crisis and the euro crisis, respectively. It is now hovering barely above one.

The pandemic has hit all of the world’s big stockmarkets. But it is shining a particularly brutal light on the weaknesses of Germany’s flagship index, which has underperformed those in other advanced markets (see chart).

On April 29th Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker (price-to-book ratio: 0.6) reported that its operating profit sank by 81% in the first quarter, year on year. The day before Lufthansa, which is trading at two-fifths of book value, said it may seek bankruptcy protection, as talks with the government over aid for...



via Business Feeds

Online annual meetings may favour managers over shareholders

“WE WILL GREATLY miss seeing our shareholders,” lamented Warren Buffett ahead of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual general meeting (AGM) on May 2nd. Thousands of his devoted shareholders would normally have flocked to Nebraska for the jamboree. Not this year. Because of covid-19 the conglomerate has moved the gathering online. The 2020 edition of “Woodstock for capitalists”, as Mr Buffett calls it, may turn out to be a “wooden experience”, says Charles Elson of the University of Delaware.

An oddity in pre-coronavirus times, virtual AGMs are spreading fast in the age of social distancing. By the reckoning of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a shareholder-advisory firm, the total number of planned annual meetings worldwide confirmed to be online-only as of April 22nd was 2,240, up from 286 for all of 2019. American firms accounted for over half that figure. On April 27th Boeing, a troubled aeroplane-maker, and Honeywell, an industrial conglomerate, both held their AGMs in cyberspace (including voting on shareholder resolutions, most of which were defeated). On May 4th America’s Securities and Exchange Commission, a regulator, will hold a public hearing (online, naturally) to discuss what it all means for corporate governance.

Online meetings have their virtues. Many AGMs are sparsely attended because far-flung...



via Business Feeds

What is weighing on Samsung?

EVEN IN A corporate world rife with despotic founders, complex cross-shareholdings and cultlike initiation rituals, Samsung stands out as the most mysterious of firms. Founded in 1938 as a provincial vegetable and dried-fish shop, it has grown into a conglomerate accounting for a fifth of South Korea’s exports. Its crown jewel, Samsung Electronics, has for years been one of the world’s biggest seller of smartphones, televisions and chips, with a market capitalisation of more than $270bn and 310,000 workers in 74 countries. The group’s riveting story, chronicled in a new book, “Samsung Rising”, by Geoffrey Cain, is one of entrepreneurial derring-do and excruciating work habits mixed with scandals, vendettas and political intrigue. What the author (a former contributor to this newspaper) skips over is how a company with so many well-documented flaws can be such a resounding success.

To get a sense of the Samsung enigma consider first its ruling dynasty. Long before Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s dictator, disappeared from view in April, Samsung’s chairman, Lee Kun-hee, vanished into hospital. The 78-year-old has not been heard from since 2014. No one outside the family knows how ill he is. His only son and heir-apparent, Lee Jae-yong, aged 50, faces a retrial on charges of influence-peddling, for which he spent almost a year behind bars in...



via Business Feeds

Private companies have put down strong roots in China

TO SAY THAT China’s economy has been hurt by covid-19 is putting it mildly. The 6.8% year-on-year fall in GDP in the first quarter ended a 28-year stretch of continuous, mostly rapid growth. The Communist Party, which derives legitimacy from rising living standards, is keen to put the slump behind it. President Xi Jinping is reversing a harsh lockdown and propping up state firms. But the world’s second-biggest economy will not heal by Mr Xi’s fiat alone.

For a collectivist state, China is remarkably reliant on private enterprise. As it ages, and its economy shifts from manufacturing for export to domestic services, the entrepreneurial class should grow in stature. Right now, though, the corona-crisis and, under Mr Xi, a more hands-on, inward-looking regime are testing private-sector resilience like never before.

The People’s Republic recognised its first private business in 1980, when a 19-year-old street hawker named Zhang Huamei registered her stall selling buttons and toys in the port city of Wenzhou. Since then the party has developed its own form of “economic gardening”—the notion, popularised in America in the 1980s, that grassroots entrepreneurs drive growth. It told business folk what not to do—certain industries, such as tobacco, were out of bounds—but otherwise let them grow unimpeded. As Jonathan...



via Business Feeds

The road to hell

GOVERNMENTS ARE keen to get employees back to work in order to limit the economic damage of covid-19. And some companies will also be eager to send employees out in search of clients. But a vaccine is unlikely to be ready for at least another 12 months. So the next business trip you make might be an endurance test. Imagine the public announcements that travellers will hear.

Ding dong. Welcome to the renamed Heathrow Waystation 5. We decided the word “terminal” might be a little off-putting to passengers in the current circumstances. Please check in your baggage so it can be disinfected: apologies to those whose suitcases are made out of genuine leather as there will probably be stains. But never mind, it will be a good excuse to go shopping when you get to your destination. After check-in, head straight to security for your nasal swab and temperature check. As everyone needs to stand six feet (two metres) apart, the queue currently snakes around the building.

When you make it through security, head to duty-free where you can choose from our extensive selection of hand sanitisers. Hope you ate before you arrived because none of the restaurants is open. Travel safely. Ding dong.

Welcome aboard Acme Airlines flight 107 to New York. I am your pilot, Captain Richards....



via Business Feeds

After Weeks of Decline, Sales Metrics Showing Signs of Recovery [COVID-19 Benchmark Data]

The economic impact of COVID-19 is undeniable. Businesses all across the globe are learning how to adapt to these new circumstances and we're all learning how to operate in a "new normal" that's constantly changing.

That's why we'll be publishing week-over-week trend data for core business metrics like website traffic, email send and open rates, sales engagements, close rates and more. We hope to establish useful benchmarks to measure your business against, and serve as an early indicator of when short- or long-term adjustments may be needed in your strategy.

While this post focuses on the highlights of last week, you can explore all the data we're publishing here.

Adapt 2020 HubSpot

About the Data

  • These insights are based on aggregated data from over 70,000 HubSpot customers globally.
  • The dataset includes weekly trend data for core business metrics in 2020, focusing on changes occurring during and after March 2020.*
  • Charts depict the performance of a given metric against pre-COVID benchmarks, calculated using weekly averages from January 13, 2020, to March 9, 2020. They do not depict week-over-week percentage changes.
  • Because the data is sourced from HubSpot's customer base, it reflects benchmarks for companies that have invested in an online presence and use inbound as a key part of their growth strategy.

*The spread of COVID-19 has had a different timeline in different regions, so we are using the World Health Organization's declaration of a global pandemic on March 11, 2020 as our "official" start date.

NOTE: Because the data is aggregated from HubSpot customers' businesses, please keep in mind that individual businesses, including HubSpot's, may differ based on their own markets, customer base, industry, geography, stage, and/or other factors.

What We're Seeing

After several weeks of concerning declines in deals created and deals closed, we are cautiously optimistic about this week's data. While it's certainly too early to call these trends a "rebound," the numbers suggest that companies that had paused "business as usual" in the last seven weeks are beginning to move forward in a new normal.

Last week saw the highest volume of deals closed since the start of the pandemic, even though deals created and closed are still trending below pre-COVID levels. Deal creation increased 8% the week of April 20, compared to the prior week, with increases in every region. Deals closed saw an upward trend as well with a 9% increase the week of April 20.

Buyer engagement reached historic highs last week. Marketing email open rates continue setting new records despite volume of email sends trending far above pre-COVID averages, and the data shows that salespeople are booking more meetings. We saw increases in average contacts added to customer portals as well.

But there's still a major disconnect in how salespeople are prospecting. Thus far, sales teams have struggled to convert buyer interest via email -- send volume is a staggering 67% above pre-COVID averages, and hasn't been accompanied by an equivalent increase in response rates or meetings booked.

However, our deep dive on sales activity suggests that salespeople are starting to book more meetings. With some adjustments to prospecting strategy, we're hopeful that there's opportunity for sales performance to improve.

This week, we're adding two new cuts of data:

  1. A deep dive on sales activity, highlighting call volume and meetings booked. Weekly average call volume has maintained an approximate 20% decrease from pre-COVID averages, while the volume of meetings booked has rebounded to a level higher than pre-COVID averages.
  2. Country-specific cuts for our core dataset for Australia and Germany. These countries have begun to reopen their economies or have done a good job containing the spread of COVID-19. Over time, we plan to add more countries, and will be watching these granular cuts closely to understand what the early signs of recovery could look like.

There's still work to be done, but last week's movement on these trends is a bright spot. After several weeks of steady declines in these metrics, recent data suggests that buyers are entering a new normal. There's gold in the hills, if sales teams just have the patience to find it -- salespeople would do well to take a breath and rethink their prospecting and outreach now, to ensure they're able to connect with the right buyers at the right time.

How Metrics Changed Last Week

Despite remaining below pre-COVID levels, the volume of created and closed deals is trending in the right direction.

We can't call it a rebound yet, but sales pipeline data from last week revealed the second straight week of growth after sharp declines across all regions and company sizes in March and early April.

Last week, sales teams created 8% more deals than the week of April 13. This is still trending 15% below pre-COVID levels, but last week was the highest volume of deals created since the start of the pandemic.

Deals-Created-vs-Deals-Closed

This increase was seen across all regions with EMEA seeing the largest increase week-over-week (18%) and NORTHAM following suit at 7%. APAC and LATAM each saw a small 2% gain.

Deals-Created-By-region

All company sizes followed the same trend. Companies with 201 or more employees are leading the pack with the biggest improvement in performance compared to the start of the pandemic.

Deals_Created-Company-Size

Deals closed improved 9% week-over-week. While the volume of deals closed is still 22% lower than pre-COVID averages, we're encouraged that this metric has improved two weeks in a row.

Deals-Closed-Company-Size

APAC, EMEA, and NORTHAM followed the global trend. LATAM was the exception to the rule but largely held steady, closing 32% fewer deals than pre-COVID averages the week of April 20, compared to 31% below pre-COVID benchmarks the week of April 13.

Deals-Closed_Region

Engagement with marketing content reached record levels

Buyers continue engaging with marketing content at levels equal to or higher than pre-COVID averages. Marketing teams that have invested in providing helpful, relevant content, deserve credit for reaching buyers in an incredibly noisy time.

Consumers are still researching and connecting with businesses at high levels. Website traffic increased last week to 24% higher than pre-COVID averages, the highest volume we've seen all year.

Website-Traffic

Marketing email volume held steady again, by less than 1% week-over-week, and remains 25% higher than pre-COVID averages. This increase is accompanied by a staggeringly high open rate that is 25% higher than pre-COVID levels, a record for the year.

Marketing-Email-Volume

Engagement with sales outreach is no longer in free fall, but reveals opportunities for improvement.

Sales engagement metrics show slight improvement over the past weeks though they have not recovered to pre-COVID levels. In the coming weeks, sales teams' success will depend on whether they are able to identify and connect with the pool of engaged buyers who have expressed interest in a business' offerings. The data suggests that there's still a significant disconnect between where sales teams are focusing their time, and where buyer interest exists.

Total sales emails increased by 6% the week of April 20, and are trending at 67% above pre-COVID averages -- the highest level this metric has reached all year. However, after five straight weeks of decline, sales open rates increased marginally, an indication that more total buyers are responding to sales teams this week.

Total-Sales-Emails-Sent-vs-Response

Things get really interesting when we zoom in on two additional parts of the sales process -- call prospecting and meetings booked.

Weekly average call volume has maintained a 20% decrease compared to pre-COVID benchmarks. Sales teams are reallocating time they'd ordinarily use to call prospects toward emailing them in order to reach more buyers, a tactic that will not be sustainable as companies attempt to return to pre-COVID performance.

Encouragingly, another metric appears to be genuinely rebounding. The number of meetings booked was trending at around 7% below pre-COVID averages, but last week increased to 10% above pre-COVID averages. Companies that may have frozen new investments while assessing their financial outlook seem to be reentering the market and restarting stalled deals -- a promising sign. We hope to see this increase reflected in the volume of deals created and booked in the coming weeks.

Countries that have begun to reopen are generally seeing positive movement in the core dataset.

Germany has begun a phased reopening of the economy, starting with allowing some small businesses to reopen on April 20. Australia has been widely praised for containing the spread of the virus, and states have begun relaxing isolation rules for some public spaces and social visit. Both these countries may provide a hint of what the early signs of economic recovery look like.

Country vs Global Sales Email Response

In Germany, marketing email volume kept with global trends, while open rates dipped slightly last week, though both metrics surpass pre-COVID levels. On the sales side, Germany saw a 14% increase in response rate, a 39% increase in deals created, and an 11% increase in closed-won deals the week of April 20. Germany is creating and closing more deals than the global average, with a higher response rate to sales emails as well.

In Australia, marketing engagement held with global trends as well. Sales email response rates increased 28%, deals created increased 15%, and closed-won deals increased 20% the week of April 20. Australia is creating slightly more deals than the global average, holding with global trends for deals closed, and is also seeing a better open rate than the global average.

We'll be watching these countries (and adding additional cuts) closely to track what economic recovery looks like in countries where the impacts of COVID-19 are starting to lessen. We're hopeful we will see continued improvement in these metrics, and are particularly interested in whether they will settle above or below pre-COVID levels in the coming weeks.

What This Means for Businesses

Transition from outside sales to inside sales.

The last few weeks have doubtless been a time of tremendous change for companies that employ an outside sales model. Temporarily adjusting to an inside sales model is virtually a requirement for businesses hoping to maintain or grow.

In times like these, knowing how to build strong relationships remotely is key. Invest in videoconferencing software to have "face-to-face" conversations online, and build trust by starting conversations with educational content instead of a generic pitch.

Ensure the quality of your sales conversations don't suffer by taking essential parts of the sales process online. If you don't already have a CRMWhether it's training your sales teams on cloud communications so they're able call prospects without physical phones, working with your marketing team to digitize educational content that prospects use to research your products, or learning how to conduct demos online, you'll need to create online equivalents for formerly offline processes. And of course, you'll need the right tools to keep your sales team running -- see below for a dedicated analysis of the technology your team needs.

The last piece of the puzzle is integrating sales enablement with your inside sales engine. Build workflows that ensure the right information is reaching your sales team and that they can easily access it, whether it's through a project management platform, team wiki, etc.

Resources to Help

Improve prospecting with targeted, creative outreach.

Our data shows that historic numbers of buyers are visiting and engaging with businesses. Yet we haven't seen a corresponding increase in sales volume. Why?

Part of this decline was inevitable. Companies across the world are tightening their belts and cutting down on nonessential investments. But that can't fully explain historic lows in sales engagement.

The answer lies in prospecting -- the root of most good and bad sales outcomes. The huge increase in email prospecting accompanied by decrease in call volume is both troubling and revealing. Instead of maintaining their standard balance of activities, sales professionals are prioritizing the technique that allows them to touch the largest number of prospects in the least amount of time. Not only has this change had the opposite intended effect, it may also hamstring salespeople who find they've burned through their database by blasting irritating emails to prospects who may have been a good fit down the line.

It's time to get back to basics. Buyer interest is at historic highs, and sales teams that take the time to target buyers who have expressed interest in their products will be better at capturing their interest than teams who are merely emailing as many people as possible.

Encourage your sales team to add a human touch to outreach. For example, recording personalized videos to attach to email messages is a way to stand out in crowded inboxes. Leading with relevance and empathy is more important than ever, and incorporating personalization into your outreach process will drive sales teams to slow down and focus on good-fit prospects.

Resources to Help

Remove friction from your sales process with the right technology.

Friction is never good. But in an economic downturn, friction can be deadly. Our data shows that record numbers of buyers are turning to company websites and chat to conduct research. There are a number of ways you can remove friction from your sales process to form more connections between these prospects and your sales team.

Automate and digitize interactions that formerly took place in person. Many steps of the sales process that used to happen face-to-face will need to move online. Chatbots are a useful way to automate parts of the qualification process. Invest in self-service resources like prerecorded demos, and ensure your sales team has the right technology to add a human touch to email outreach, and run sales calls online.

Invest in conversational marketing. Conversational marketing offers a real-time way to answer customer questions and automates the lead routing process so your business can serve prospective and existing customers even when your team is out of the office. Additionally, chatbots can help your company meet the increase in inquiries by providing customers with lightning-fast answers, automating lead qualification, and booking meetings on behalf of your sales and service teams.

Enable self-service. Whether it's through chatbots, online meeting booking, eSigning, or self-service meetings links, implementing technology that allows prospects to engage with your business on their schedule will make the process easier on your prospects and more efficient for your team.

Resources to Help

Free Software to Get Started

Adapt 2020 HubSpot



via Business Feeds

These Cities Have the Most At-Risk Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic Response

Cities Most at Risk from Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually every industry, business and city and town in the United States. Nowhere is immune to the consequences of the deadly virus.

Most At Risk Businesses

However, cities that rely heavily on entertainment, retail, accommodation and food, are most vulnerable.

Cities Most at Risk from Pandemic

A study by LendingTree, America’s largest online lending marketplace, analyzed the cities to be worse hit by the pandemic. The study ranks the 100 metropolitans with the most retail establishments to determine which cities have been hit the hardest.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at Greatest Risk

The researchers found that mid-sized cities are at greatest risk from the affects of the pandemic. Myrtle Beach, South California, has the highest concentration of local businesses in retail, entertainment and food and accommodation sectors. Consequently, Myrtle Beach is the highest-ranking city in terms of being the worse affected by the pandemic.

This is followed by Salisbury, Maryland, where almost a third of businesses are in one of the most heavily impacted sectors. The third worse hit city is Scranton, Pennsylvania, where 28.8% of businesses operate in the most vulnerable industries.

Finding the Right Business Support

The research provides insight into how the ongoing pandemic is affecting small businesses and which industries are at greatest risk. It is important that small businesses stay informed about the economic and business impact of this unprecedented crisis. Knowing which industries and locations are worse affected will give businesses insight into the support that might be available to them.

Businesses operating in entertainment, retail, accommodation and food are proving most vulnerable to the consequences of the pandemic-induced lockdown. Myrtle Beach has the highest proportion of these types of businesses. This coastal city is therefore the most exposed to the economic slowdown. As the report’s authors write:

“Visitors to Myrtle Beach are crucial to the region’s economy, as they support jobs, businesses and residents’ quality of life. The area’s 20.4 million annual visitors make a $7 billion impact. On April 6, South Carolina joined the growing list of states to close non-essential businesses to the public…. As the summer months approach, Myrtle Beach and other US tourist towns may miss out on crucial revenue while these businesses stay closed.”

Salisbury is Second Most Affected City

With more than 32% of businesses in the most vulnerable industries, Salisbury is the second most heavily impact city by the pandemic. All non-essential businesses closed in Maryland on March 23.

The report directs businesses in Salisbury to the Salisbury Area Coronavirus Recovery Task Force. This resource provides a wealth of information to help support local businesses during these testing times.

Larger Cities are Less Vulnerable

The report shows that larger cities, such as Denver and Minneapolis are less reliant on retail, entertainment and food and accommodation. Subsequently, these cities are not being as adversely affected by the pandemic as other US cities.

LendingTree’s report highlights the importance for businesses to stay informed about the support resources available to them. Particularly those operating in the most vulnerable sectors.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "These Cities Have the Most At-Risk Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic Response" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

These Cities Have the Most At-Risk Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic Response

Cities Most at Risk from Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually every industry, business and city and town in the United States. Nowhere is immune to the consequences of the deadly virus.

Most At Risk Businesses

However, cities that rely heavily on entertainment, retail, accommodation and food, are most vulnerable.

Cities Most at Risk from Pandemic

A study by LendingTree, America’s largest online lending marketplace, analyzed the cities to be worse hit by the pandemic. The study ranks the 100 metropolitans with the most retail establishments to determine which cities have been hit the hardest.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at Greatest Risk

The researchers found that mid-sized cities are at greatest risk from the affects of the pandemic. Myrtle Beach, South California, has the highest concentration of local businesses in retail, entertainment and food and accommodation sectors. Consequently, Myrtle Beach is the highest-ranking city in terms of being the worse affected by the pandemic.

This is followed by Salisbury, Maryland, where almost a third of businesses are in one of the most heavily impacted sectors. The third worse hit city is Scranton, Pennsylvania, where 28.8% of businesses operate in the most vulnerable industries.

Finding the Right Business Support

The research provides insight into how the ongoing pandemic is affecting small businesses and which industries are at greatest risk. It is important that small businesses stay informed about the economic and business impact of this unprecedented crisis. Knowing which industries and locations are worse affected will give businesses insight into the support that might be available to them.

Businesses operating in entertainment, retail, accommodation and food are proving most vulnerable to the consequences of the pandemic-induced lockdown. Myrtle Beach has the highest proportion of these types of businesses. This coastal city is therefore the most exposed to the economic slowdown. As the report’s authors write:

“Visitors to Myrtle Beach are crucial to the region’s economy, as they support jobs, businesses and residents’ quality of life. The area’s 20.4 million annual visitors make a $7 billion impact. On April 6, South Carolina joined the growing list of states to close non-essential businesses to the public…. As the summer months approach, Myrtle Beach and other US tourist towns may miss out on crucial revenue while these businesses stay closed.”

Salisbury is Second Most Affected City

With more than 32% of businesses in the most vulnerable industries, Salisbury is the second most heavily impact city by the pandemic. All non-essential businesses closed in Maryland on March 23.

The report directs businesses in Salisbury to the Salisbury Area Coronavirus Recovery Task Force. This resource provides a wealth of information to help support local businesses during these testing times.

Larger Cities are Less Vulnerable

The report shows that larger cities, such as Denver and Minneapolis are less reliant on retail, entertainment and food and accommodation. Subsequently, these cities are not being as adversely affected by the pandemic as other US cities.

LendingTree’s report highlights the importance for businesses to stay informed about the support resources available to them. Particularly those operating in the most vulnerable sectors.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "These Cities Have the Most At-Risk Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic Response" was first published on Small Business Trends



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