December '20

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3 2 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Even when the business world gets back on more normal footing, online and remote capabilities will matter as consumer online purchasing is paving the way for what the B2B and B2C buying experience should be. OPTIMIZE CASH FLOW Managing cash flow effectively is critical in times of crisis. Financing can help your business maintain cash reserves or allocate working capital for other needs that cannot be financed. When considering large purchases, such as equipment, there are a few reasons why financing may be better than paying in cash, even if you have cash on hand. The cash flow generated by leased or financed equipment allows that asset to pay for itself over time. In many cases, the value of con- serving and having ready access to your cash can be more significant than any financing charges associated with borrowing. In choosing a lender, you should research and find a lender you can trust. Look for a lender that is familiar with your industry, your specific needs, and the financing op- tions that work best with your cash-flow situation. A lender that understands your business is better prepared to make sure fi- nance terms work for you. At the end of the day, financing should always be something that's affordable and makes your business stronger and better able to compete and grow for the long term. DETERMINE AND PRIORITIZE BEST INVESTMENTS The first four tips touched on key steps to keep your business afloat, but it may not be possible to achieve them all. Instead of boil- ing the ocean, focus on which investments are the best for your company and work on ranking each by priority. The current busi- ness climate is an opportunity to look to the future and reassess your business objectives, production processes, and equipment needs. If your top priority is to update your equipment, consider selling old equipment and financing new equipment as men- tioned in the previous tip. This would also help reserve cash for other needs. In a 2019 study, CIT found that small business owners saw cloud computing sys- tems, customer relationship management tools, and cyber security/data privacy as key priorities for technology investments. Iden- tify which investments are most valuable for your business, and how you may need to shift other priorities to meet those needs. Whatever your priorities, our company (and others like us) can provide the financ- ing needed to help you capitalize on new opportunities, acquire new equipment, add digital capabilities, or make many other improvements. We believe strongly in the bright future of the specialty graphics and printing industry and are continuing to in- vest in this industry. GP KEN MARTIN, a veteran banking executive, was named managing director of CIT's Small Business Solutions division in 2019. CIT Small Business Solu- tions recognizes that every business has its own unique needs, from equipment and technology to inventory purchases, and offers lending options to meet many needs for equipment financing.

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