Easter’s Lessons for Business

This year, the month of April ushers in the celebration of Easter. Whether Christian or otherwise, it’s a happy day full of new life represented by baby chicks, decorated eggs, organized and disorganized egg hunts, and bunny rabbits. For believers, it’s 40 days of prayer and fasting culminating in a procession of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil and finally Easter Sunday.

Tulips and Easter eggs in grass under a sunny blue-green sky.
Easter Season and Springtime are both Great Times for New Ideas

Christian traditions have their own special emphases for Easter, but most Americans of all walks and beliefs celebrate with lamb dinners, eggs, ham, cheeses and breads. Children have been decorating Easter eggs, and grownups have been hiding the same for the children to find since the 13th century.

In the early 1870s, children would gather on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building to roll their eggs and play on Easter Monday. Then in 1878, First Lady Lucy Hayes (wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes) held the first annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn, a custom that has survived to present times. There’s a story about one small boy who complained to President Hayes that the children would no longer be allowed to roll eggs near the Capitol Building because it was ruining the grass. Then he asked the President for permission to use the White House lawn. Obviously, the President agreed and the traditional White House Easter egg rolls continue to this day. Business lesson: never be too shy to ask for what you want.

As small business owners, we can celebrate the season with Game Changing ideas:

  • Determine the values and technologies that can remove barriers to scaling your business.
  • Develop a clear vision of your client base or portfolio and write a laser-focused value proposition based on where you are now compared to where you want to be next spring.
  • Dedicate safe but significant funding to your ideas once you can demonstrate viability and expansion.
  • Use technologies to capture data that will help you continually improve performance and delivery quicker responses to customer/client concerns.

Think resurrection and have a safe and Happy Easter season.

Managing Inflation for Small Businesses

With inflation at a 40-year high and the Feds pulling their rabbit out of the hat to battle inflation to slow the economy (raise the short term interest rate) through manipulation of its monetary policy, it may take a recession to bring prices under control. And all this on heels of a worldwide pandemic, employee issues, soaring fuel prices and supply chain woes.

While it’s painful, it’s not new. Inflation can be considered a “by-product” of money. In ancient Rome, when the emperor couldn’t pay his bills, he decreed that the (solid) silver denarius be made as only a copper coin thinly plated in silver. With the coin now having less value (less silver) Roman merchants demanded more and more denarii in exchange for goods and the coin’s intrinsic value declined. 

When the American Revolution started, the Continental Congress could not afford to buy weapons, outfit soldiers, and pay for a full scale war…so they printed fiat money — paper money made legal tender simply by government decree. Like Bitcoin without high tech.

Just last March, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surveyed random small-business owners to discover that 85% of respondents said that inflation is a concern, and 1-in-3 respondents rank inflation as their #1 concern. A full 63% have supply chain issues, and 67% have raised prices in response to inflationary pressure.

The numbers were similar across the country and spared no geographical regions or business sectors — it appears we are all in this together.

Because it costs us more to run our business, we need to raise prices to customers in order to offset the increase, and we must hunker down and accept tighter profit margins to remain profitable over time.

Eventually, business should return to normal. Before it does, here are suggestions from the experts at Forbes

  • Resist the urge to wait it out.
  • Review your gross profit margins on a product or service basis.
  • Look for opportunities to save.
  • Have a process to increase prices as needed to maintain adequate profit margins.
  • Resist the urge to be a martyr.

Be advised to view pricing as a “formulaic decision” — based on target profit margins that are sustainable. The endgame is this: price your goods and services to allow the business to continue to grow and scale.” Adapt, don’t fail.

Russia vs. American Small Business

The world economy depends on global energy supplies. We were exposed to supply-chain snags during the Covid pandemic, but with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, sanction and export controls against Russia could make things even worse in terms of inflation.

Our reality check is that today a gallon of gas averages $4.10— a whopping 49% more than the $2.75 in March 2021. If your small business has a fleet of cars or trucks, inflation at the pump can tear into profits.

With commodity prices rising, the cost of services will also rise. Businesses often have no choice but to pass along their increased cost of products and services to their customers. A rising tide raises all boats!

So how can a small business protect itself?

According to the Bureau of Labor, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices paid by consumer for goods and services, had it largest 12-month increase since 1982. If you can, it may be wise to stock up on inventory, invest in property and update equipment before the CPI rises higher.

Now that the Federal Reserve Board has decided to increase the federal funds rate, those who anticipated higher rates and place their cash into interest-bearing CDs, money markets, bonds and savings accounts may benefit. The Fed today signaled multiple incremental increases during the coming year.

If you have access to capital, it may be a good time to purchase inventory and the core materials needed for your business. Examine your technology needs. You may be able to do more with fewer people using state-of-the-art automation that requires less human interaction. 

If eligible, look into a fixed-rate loan from the SBA (Small Business Administration) for working capital and to refinance any existing debt on your business.

Talk to your suppliers about long-term agreements and if you rent business space, consider negotiating a longer-term lease. 

Finally, talk to us as well as your financial advisor. Whatever the nature of your small business, the worldwide pandemic followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are reasons to prepare. 


As the crisis in Ukraine continues, people here in the Tri-State offer help to those who need to leave their homes. Read about the Matthew 25: Ministry program and consider a generous donation for drop off at their location at 11083 Kenwood Road, 45242.