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2020 Overview: The Exciting Opportunities Ahead

Key Takeaways

  • Use this year to seize opportunity — the financial climate can support it.
  • A tight labor market and tariffs will continue to challenge most organizations.
  • Competitiveness is fueled by operational efficiency; technology makes this possible.

A strong economy, tight labor market, and rising costs are a few of the factors that will shape opportunities this year. Jack Murphy, President of Business Banking at Citizens Bank, shares his insight about the unique promise of 2020.

Q: What possibilities do you see for businesses this year?

JM: A robust economy and technological innovations create a positive environment for organizations at any stage of development right now — whether they’re starting, growing, or in business transition. Despite talk of a recession, key indicators show that the economy is likely to remain strong. And innovative technologies will help companies further streamline management and improve service.

Q: What challenges do you think 2020 will bring?

JM: One result of a strong economy is low unemployment, which increases demands on organizations trying to attract and retain qualified workers. Rising healthcare costs are also a real pressure. Other potential impacts to the bottom line this year include the threat of more tariffs, which drives up costs for many organizations.

Q: How are organizations viewing priorities for 2020?

JM: The priorities are the same as those in prior years: attracting great hires, managing cash flow, finding new customers, and growing while maintaining quality. Protecting against fraud is also a key concern. Prudent organizations are taking action to safeguard their company and customer data.

Q: What is the best way to stay ahead of the competition this year?

JM: Operational efficiency really provides a competitive edge. Many companies are using technology to complete tasks more cost-effectively and maintain high-quality standards. Technology can help improve cash flow management, streamline payment processing, and generate timely and accurate financial reports. This approach boosts productivity and, ultimately, helps profitability.

Q: What advice do you have for someone at the helm right now?

JM: A strong economy — like the one we have now — creates a good environment to review your financial plan and develop strategies that will help your business be prepared for a future downturn. Take steps to obtain credit, and ensure you have the right levels of capital and liquidity. If the economy slows, your organization may need funding for near-term purchases or ongoing expenses. Or, you may need financing for strategic investments such as equipment or commercial real estate.

Ready for success in 2020?

A strong banking partner can help you find the right support. At Citizens Bank, we listen and tailor our lending to the unique needs of each business. With this approach, we provide solutions to support success and make it easy for organizations to do business with us.

Learn more about how Citizens can help make your business ready for success, or talk with a business banking professional.

About Jack Murphy

Jack Murphy is the President of Citizens Bank Business Banking. In the last 25 years, he has held leadership roles at multiple Fortune 500 financial institutions and joined Citizens Bank in 2016. Jack’s team serves more than 333,000 businesses to help them reach their financial goals.

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