Getting a small business into the black is the first major hurdle facing most new owners. But once that obstacle is cleared, is your business prepared for the reinvestment challenge? Just how much should you be spending and where should you spend it?
Getting Started on the Investment Journey
The first thing to do is start researching. Without a solid understanding of where your business sits compared to the competition, and how your market is expected to perform over the next year, you may as well throw your cash into a fountain and hope a fairy grants you a money wish.
Research comes in many forms and at a variety of prices, but key to undertaking effective learning is to set goals for what your research will achieve. Having objectives prevents you from hopping from one idea to the next, and focuses you in on how to take your business to the next level.
Bring in Outside Help
Technology platforms, such as Expert360, have made it possible for small businesses to bring on experienced consultants for short-term stints that add value to a business without breaking the bank.
Another option might be to investigate hiring someone to take over daily operations of the business – someone with a proven track record. Time is just as valuable as money, and with the right personnel in place you can free yourself to focus on new business interests, such as a new revenue stream or expansion.
Why Not Buy Something Shiny?
With money in the kitty, it might be time to look at investing in the company’s systems and processes. Improving important business functions, such as hardware, software and networking, increases speed and efficiency across the company. However, the plethora of technology options means a tech overhaul is very much ‘buyer beware’.
Ask yourself some simple questions before taking on the new technology plunge:
– What are your business’s requirements and how does technology address them?
– Do you have a timeline from investment to deployment for any new technology purchases?
– What metrics do you have in place to measure the effectiveness of the new technology?
– Why does this decision make good business sense?
Investing in new technology can also automate several tasks within your business, which again clears your schedule to focus on growing your business. Technology also allows you to provide a more flexible work environment for employees, making you attractive to top talent and more likely to retain those already working for you.