No matter how you feel about Donald Trump's election to the presidency, there are implications for your business and associated financing.
Without getting into a political debate - and haven't we all had enough of that anyway? - it's fair to say that Trump's election adds a high degree of unpredictability to the nation's (and world's) future track. While Hillary Clinton was a conventional, predictable politician, Trump based his campaign on being an outsider and positioned himself as someone who would shake up the status quo.
The end result is uncertainty - and the financial markets hate uncertainty. There's really no telling how much of what Trump said was hyperbole and how much he really means. Consider that after months of pledging to dismantle Obamacare, Trump has already begun to soften has stance there. Where Trump really stands on most issues is unknown.
So what happens when markets are uncertain? If you said interest rates are likely to rise, you are correct.
That's why locking in low fixed interest rates on any financing you already have or are now seeking is important.
Even if Clinton had won, it would have been a good idea to lock in loans now because the rates already are at or near historic lows.
If rates somehow were to drop, they'd do so only incrementally. That means there's little point in waiting in the hopes of getting a better rate.
But it also means rates have plenty of room to climb - and the first outlandish statement President Trump makes after being inaugurated could send markets into a frenzy.
Interest rates have been low for so long that some people have begun to forget - and millennials have never experienced - a time like the early 1980's when home mortgages were as high as 18 percent and every other kind of lending was equally pricey.
All good things must come to an end and, in reality, the president doesn't have all that much to do with economic performance anyway. There's a natural ebb and flow cycle, with the down periods serving the purpose of pruning weak companies and eliminating bad financial practices.
Consider that the inflation rate for the past 12 months, year over year, is a miniscule 1.46 percent. That's not likely to continue.
Nor is credit likely to remain this available. Lenders may have tightened their standards in the last few months, but a company with strong financials is still likely to secure funding at an interest rate below (possibly well below) 10 percent.
So, what does this mean for you, the small- to medium-sized business owner?
Quite simply, it's time to take action.
Whether you want to start a marketing/advertising campaign, are looking to increase your distribution network, hope to add new product, need to buy new equipment or plan to acquire a competitor, you may never get such favorable loan terms again.
Make no mistake about it: Conditions are going to change, possibly soon, for the worse. Act now before it's too late.