You have to spend money to make money, right? It’s true to an extent, but making the right investments is more important than just opening the purse strings. Small businesses with less to spend and less to lose must be sure every dollar of investment delivers maximum ROI. Here are some suggestions that make smart sense for 2018:
Marketing and Outreach
Every company has to raise awareness and build brand recognition if it’s going to maintain growth. Investing in marketing, particularly through digital channels, is expensive but money well spent. Investing not only in marketing but in consumer targeting and market research are all valuable long-term investments. Small businesses gain a better understanding of what consumers want. Then they leverage that to cultivate consumer loyalty.
It’s easy for a small business to become a victim of its own success. The speed and scale of operations picks up. Then the original staff find it harder to deliver the level of service consumers expect. Investing in additional staff allows businesses to support the demands of growth. It also lets business owners and decision makers focus on core concerns.
Training and Education
A bigger staff is an advantage, but so it a better staff. A modest investment in training and education brings new skills and talents into your organization. The investment could be in an individual, team, or the entire organization. In any case, it delivers a high rate of return and has myriad unexpected benefits.
Accounting and Finance
These tend to be sticking points for small businesses. Both are essential to put the business on firm financial footing. Unfortunately, both are expensive and complicated to do well. Consider making an investment in a larger (or initial) in-house accounting department. Conversely, think about the opportunities of outsourced accounting. Money spent to improve cash flow and tax preparedness leads to larger revenues down the line.
The right time to move to a new office space or warehouse is before it’s necessary, not after it’s overdue. Waiting too long limits growth potential and puts relationships with both new and returning customers at risk. Paying to rent/buy a better space is an ongoing expense, but it creates just as many opportunities as costs.
Small businesses that have enjoyed growth have also accepted greater risk. That means if insurance has not been updated or amended it’s likely insufficient. Being under-covered is a liability many businesses face. Worse, many are unaware that the issues exist and could be catastrophic. Take the time to review existing policies and learn how past coverage compares to present needs. Once you know where the gaps exist, do a small business insurance comparison to find the best price available. Insurance may not drive revenue like the other opportunities listed above. Crucially, however, it extends protection, eliminates risk, and reliably caps costs.
It’s not too late in 2018 to make these investments and reap the rewards. Just apply the right balance of ambition and caution. That way every dollar invested delivers over a dollar in return.