Situated in the heart of Louisiana, Lafayette is in the middle of a renaissance. Traditionally an oil and gas economy, the city has been successful in diversifying into medical, energy, technology, finance, transportation, education, entertainment, and other industries while maintaining its oil and gas roots.
You must expect and prepare for change, as it often uncovers great opportunities.
This kind of growth and opportunity are accompanied by changes, especially in a mid-market city and region. Each Lafayette area industry is in a different phase of the business life cycle: Oil and gas is well-established but facing challenges as energy evolves, hospitality is growing and changing to meet the shifting business and tourism needs of the region, and a cutting-edge technology industry is bringing new talent, opportunities, and risk to the market.
Within each industry, organizations and resources evolve as well. This repeating cycle of change occurs on a spectrum ranging from gradual adjustments to immediate overhaul of structure, processes, and systems.
Challenges and changes
With many businesses experiencing restructuring due to external market impacts, new technology implementations, evolving customer and client expectations, and process updates to accompany these changes, you have likely been exposed to the effects of change in some way. Even a small family business committed to serving the community must consider changes that come from transitioning leadership from one generation to the next and how that change impacts every team member. You must expect and prepare for change, as it often uncovers great opportunities to create competitive advantages and deliver your product or service to new markets. The following are some areas in which change can prove to be particularly positive when anticipated and addressed.
Organizational performance upticks and downturns impact your team.
- Responding to rapid growth: Many of P&N’s Acadiana clients have experienced rapid, exponential growth. While this success is great, rapid growth can often expose gaps in the finance and accounting team. The right staff resources, appropriate processes, and necessary software upgrades can make a huge impact on supporting and sustaining future growth.
- Adapting to downturns: On the flip side of growth are periodic downturns. Some Acadiana businesses in established but changing industries, such as oil and gas, are impacted by long-term staff vacancies in specific roles. One way to address this challenge is to outsource. Interim professional support can cover necessary responsibilities and maintain the accounting function until business pivots back to a more favorable environment for hiring full-time staff.
- Bridging gaps with technology: Another way some oil and gas businesses have adjusted to recent industry or economic downturns is to make efficient use of the staff they do have by enhancing their technology resources. While it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in new technology during a downturn, implementing easy-to-use systems and leaning on AI to automate time-consuming processes can free up staff to tackle high-value functions that require experience and context, providing much greater value and laying the foundation to support future growth.
Organizational restructure or technology transformation impacts your processes.
- Navigating plans for the future: When company executives are laser-focused on a vision for the future, changes are inevitable. External, independent project management or change management resources can help plan, execute, and manage changes to an organization’s structure and technology, smoothing the potential bumps and hiccups so that the experience is organized and well-communicated every step of the way.
- Recruiting the right talent: Human resources strategy must evolve with your organization’s goals. While developing job descriptions and identifying qualified candidates are common challenges regardless of location, recruiting the necessary talent in the midst of restructuring often proves to be more difficult in mid-sized markets such as Acadiana. Engaging an outside party to help find and hire qualified talent can alleviate significant stress on your HR team during an already-busy restructuring phase.
- Building systems to support new processes: It’s not just communication that impacts staff when changes occur. Restructuring may lead to new business processes that don’t match up with existing systems. In these cases, there is a need for qualified developer resources who are well-versed in multiple system architecture. These professionals can create integrations that simplify business processes and help you optimize efficiency.
Organizational strategy and associated succession planning impact your future.
- Implementing sophisticated financial management: Many small businesses become accustomed to using QuickBooks with no accounting staff. However, as small business clients experience growth and look toward their future needs, accounting resources become crucial for continued success. These clients prioritize bookkeeping support, CFO forecasting, and insight into how to manage a growing business.
- Planning for continuity: In addition to growth, entrepreneurs must also consider their own retirement and the continuity of their business. P&N professionals often serve in an advisory capacity for these clients, working with the family to draft the future of the business and ensure proper succession planning.
How we help
As businesses in Lafayette and throughout Acadiana continue through this cycle of growth and change, it will be more important than ever to have local advisors and resources to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities in this quickly-evolving region. P&N’s Lafayette-based team of professionals can help you address gaps and stay competitive through it all.