Smart business investment is a good investment.
It’s no secret that starting a business can be tough. In fact, it’s so challenging that more startups fail each year than go on to be successful. The reasons for these failures are many, but more often than not, they have a little something to do with lack of money.
We all know cash is the fuel that keeps the business world moving, which is why most entrepreneurs do all they can to spend as little of it as possible. However, this can be a mistake. You have to spend money to make it, so here are thirteen important investments to grow your business.
1. Marketing Your Business
The most obvious way to improve and grow your business is through marketing. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, no one will buy it unless they actually know that it exists.
When times are looking financially tough, many business owners reduce their marketing budget. However, this, ironically, is the time you need marketing the most. If you lack the time or knowledge to handle marketing in-house, you should consider outsourcing it.
2. Designing A Website
These days, a business will struggle to survive without a website, meaning that, even if you only own a brick and mortar store, you should still get yourself online. This is because, when consumers are planning to buy something, they tend to look it up online first to find a shop. If you don’t have a website for them to see, this means that they won’t buy from you. For the best results, you should improve your results ranking by investing in search engine optimization.
3. Managing your Money
Unless you have the time and knowledge to do it yourself, you’re going to need to hire someone to perform accounting services and keep the books. This is especially important when you’re low on capital, and depending on your circumstances, you could employ someone in-house or an agency or a freelancer
4. Widening Your Knowledge
Learning to run a business effectively is not something that can be done overnight. You need to keep investing time and money into improving yourself and widening your knowledge. There are a number of ways you can go about this, from reading books and magazines to
5. Hiring Skilled Employees
Your team is the glue that keeps your business together and the fuel that keeps it up and running. With that in mind, you must ensure that you employ the very best team members that you can. To do this, you’ll need to spend a little extra on the hiring process, as well as offer better benefits and more competitive pay. This way, the most talented workers will choose you over another company. To avoid wasting money, make sure you start hiring at the right time.
6. Retaining New Hires
Once you have a team that you know you can count on, you need to make sure that they stick with you. This involves some investment but is much cheaper than going through the entire hiring process all over again. The biggest potential costs include staff incentives and rewards, team working days, and whole office lunches. However, many of the gestures staff will most appreciate, such as introducing an open door policy, come free or incredibly cheaply.
7. Upgrading your Office
With so much work to do and so little time to do it, many business owners spend more time at work than they do at home. For this reason, you need to make sure that your office space is inviting and comfortable. Ergonomically correct furniture is a must, as is good lighting and a place for water and healthy snacks. This would benefit your employees just as much as it would you. You may also want to hire a cleaning service to tidy up the office on a regular basis.
8. Preparing for Emergencies
Owning a business is a massive risk, as there’s always the chance that something could go wrong leaving your finances and company in tatters.
To minimize the danger, you should prepare for eventual emergencies. This means investing in a comprehensive insurance policy that protects your business in a number of different ways. You should also start to build up an emergency fund to cover losses and expenses that your insurance won’t.
9. Securing Legal Advice
No one goes into business expecting to face legal trouble, but it’s crucial to prepare for and work to avoid this eventuality nonetheless. Even with years of business experience, the legal side of the job can be a complicated one to wrap your head around. To avoid making mistakes, you should secure professional help when you need it. Even if you can’t afford a permanent legal staff member, you can still outsource to reputable law firms when required.
10. Reducing Inventory Shrinkage
For any business handling physical stock, inventory shrinkage is a major issue. In short, this is when products are damaged, stolen, or otherwise lost before they reach the customer. Unfortunately, there’s no way to eliminate this costly problem entirely, but it is possible to reduce it. There are a few precautions you can take, including installing better security equipment and using more efficient management software.
11. Updating Office Technology
We live in a world obsessed with technology, so it should be no surprise that it is vital for running a business. Whether you use only basic office equipment, like computers and tablets, or require more specialist tools, it’s critical that you update your tech when you need to. However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy new models every time they come out. Instead, only invest in new equipment if it means your business will be more efficient.
12. Maintaining your Equipment
When an important tool or piece of equipment breaks down, it can spell disaster for your company. Even if you have the money to replace the item in question, you might still be unable to work at your most efficient until you have it in the workplace. For this reason, you should do what you can to keep your technology working at it’s best. By spending out for maintenance, tools will work a lot more efficiently and are much less likely to break down, saving money in the long run.
13. Improve Customer Service
Without customers, your business wouldn’t be able to exist. It’s as simple as that. Because of this, you need to do all you can to keep yours as happy as possible. This means offering more value than the competition, replying to queries faster, and generally being the better business to shop with. You can also show that you care by sponsoring charities or events in the local area. All of these things will build brand loyalty and help your company to grow.
Business investment is a must for long life and healthy businesses. This is why so many entrepreneurs do everything possible to cut costs in their company. That being said, there’s a big difference between reducing unnecessary spending and stopping necessary investments completely. If you want your business to grow, make sure that you spend money in all of the right places.