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Investing in Your Small Business

Running a successful small business isn’t just about the day-to-day actions of keeping your operations afloat. You need to have a firm focus on the future. As such, making the right investments into your small business is an essential element in ensuring your future is well guided and supported.

It’s important to note, though, that any investment is a risk. The key is to find areas of investment relevant to your business, well-suited to your ambitions, and practical for your means. This isn’t always easy to establish. Indeed, many small business owners are so risk-averse they fail to make the salient investments that can give them the confidence to become true competitors in their field.

So, we’re going to start you off on the right footing. Let’s take a look at a few areas of investment you should be considering as you move toward growth and success in your enterprise.

Investing in Property
This might seem like a lofty ambition and there’s no denying it can represent a significant proportion of your capital. Though, it may be the case that now is a good time to buy commercial real estate, as there has been some evidence of a market downturn due to COVID-19. It’s certainly worth considering whether you can arrange the finances, as it can be a relatively stable and agile investment in your small business.

The first option here is simply as a space to run your business from. If you’re operating a retail company, there is still a significant proportion of consumers that prefer to shop from brick-and-mortar premises. Not to mention this allows you to capture a larger proportion of your market if you offer both online and physical experiences, leaning into the omnichannel service many consumers are demanding. Buying your property also means you can build the value before selling it if you want to expand later, rather than flushing your capital away on rent.

If you’re able to think a little bigger, purchasing commercial units, either alongside your own unit or in a separate area, provides you with valuable assets that are passively working to support your primary business concern. There are various opportunities when buying commercial real estate — office buildings, space in retail parks, and industrial sites among them — and it’s worth considering which niche is most relevant to your business and provides the biggest return. It may be the case you’ll find — particularly if you work in construction — that a “fix it and flip it” approach is the best route to profiting from your investment.



Investing in Your Brand
Luck plays something of a role in your small business’ success. Sometimes your growth is informed by being in the right place at the right time. But that doesn’t mean you’re reliant on fate. An important part of positioning yourself to receive some of this luck is to create visibility and a reputation in your marketplace. This means you need to commit to investing in your brand.

You may need to commission the creation of a professional logo and perhaps work with a web developer to create a website. This is particularly important if you’re operating from brick-and-mortar premises. Indeed, some of the activities that help your physical store compete in a digital world can enhance your brand building. Alongside setting up your digital presence, activities to enhance your customer service — designing personalized shopping experiences and offering cashless transactions among them — are instrumental in this regard. Even small touches like creating a loyalty program can suggest a brand that cares about its consumers, whether online or in person.

But making changes isn’t especially effective if the message about your brand isn’t communicated to the widest — and most appropriate — audience. This is where investing in marketing can be crucial. Not every business owner has the time or skills to engage in search engine optimization (SEO) practices or regular social media content creation that make a difference to your brand’s visibility. As such it’s worth considering investing in staff to take this role or working with external marketing professionals.

Investing in Staff
One of your most important investments is the ongoing skills development of your staff. There is a prevailing myth that putting capital into training is risky due to the potential for your workers to then take those skills to your competitors. But the reality is, a willingness to invest in your workers’ education and provide clear paths to progression actually tends to have a positive impact on retention. This could include sponsoring certifications and courses, bringing training contractors into your business, and helping locate mentors.

Consider too what training courses you can provide that are directly impactful on your goals. If you want to gain consistent revenue, it can be worth investing in helping staff to understand strategies to build a loyal customer base. This can begin with establishing the basics of customer service and then expand into how to keep your website updated for usability or methods of designing effective rewards programs. The more you can invest in the knowledge base of your staff, the better able they are to innovate for your business.

That said, investing in your staff also has to include a focus on their satisfaction and stability. As people who are instrumental in driving the success of your business, you need to provide benefits and incentives to improve the quality of their lives. This could include 401K retirement contributions, health insurance, and even profit-sharing options. Paid time off can also be useful for helping them maintain a healthy and productive work-life balance.

Conclusion
Your small business won’t succeed off its own power; it needs smart and consistent investment. This can include purchasing property, alongside building a marketable brand. Perhaps most importantly, investing in your staff’s education and job satisfaction can have a direct impact on your company’s trajectory.

Meet The Author:


lukesmith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.
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Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/get-help/finance-accounting/finance-accounting-news/2021/10/08/investing-in-your-small-business