Business is going well for you, and you’re pocketing more profit that ever; you deserve a pat on the back. But before you book a vacation on an exotic island somewhere with that extra money, consider putting some of your profits back into your business. When you invest in your own business, you can help grow your company even faster, and then you’ll have even more money to take an even better vacation down the road!
Here are a few things to consider investing in to help your business thrive.
- Software that makes your work easier
Often, entrepreneurs cruise along with free software or awkward solutions (read: spreadsheets for contact databases) when they first start out, and then they become accustomed to these less-than-ideal solutions for common business tasks. If that’s you, realize that investing even just a little of your profits into the right software can give you a huge bump in productivity.
Accounting software is one of the most affordable and impactful tools you can give your business. For $30 or less a month, you can shave down the time you spend updating expenses, sending invoices and managing your finances.
If customer service is a major part of your business (it should be!), help desk software could streamline the process of customers connecting with your service reps to get issues handled. Customer relationship management software is another tool worth investing in.
- Smart marketing tools and resources
Sure, you can manage your own social media, write your own content and send your own emails, but is that really the best use of your time? There are two ways you can invest in marketing: the first is to subscribe to savvy software, like Hootsuite’s social media dashboard, that makes your work a lot easier.
The second is to hire a marketing consultant, freelancer or agency to handle your marketing tasks on your behalf. This will, of course, cost more than doing it yourself, but these individuals are more skilled at these particular tasks, and having help will free you up to focus on running your business. It will also help you increase sales, boost traffic to your website heighten and brand recognition, all of which has a great return on investment!
- Newer equipment
If, when you turn your computer on in the morning, you cross your fingers, hoping it will actually start today, it’s seriously time for an upgrade. Consider that even if you spent just a few seconds less per task on your computer, you could save hours a week if you had a faster-processing device.
How else could new technology help you grow? Maybe a tablet with a card processor at your checkout stand would help you make more sales faster. Maybe having a large screen in your conference room would dazzle potential customers during sales meetings. Technology is absolutely a worthy investment for your startup, so consider what equipment will make you more productive.
Just as having marketing help can be a huge boon, so too can hiring people to assist with other aspects of your business. Keep in mind, you’ve got more options than just hiring someone full-time: you can hire part-time, contractors, freelancers or even remote employees, depending on your workload and budget. You might need one-time help with a project, or ongoing assistance.
Start by picking the one area of your business that takes you an inordinate amount of time to handle. Bring someone with experience into that area and start handing over tasks. Before long, you’ll be hooked on the idea of having others on your team, and you’ll be operating even more efficiently as your staff continues to grow.
- Client gifts
This isn’t really a necessity, but can go a long way toward building long-lasting relationships with your clients. Sending gifts for the holidays, for your company anniversary or for a client’s birthday is always a delightful surprise for the recipient. Budget how much you can afford to spend per client: obviously, if you have hundreds of clients, you may have to do something cost-effective like give away a promotional item with your company logo on it, whereas if you only have a handful of clients, you can spend more per person on a higher quality gift.
Making profit is wonderful, but investing back into your business is the best gift that you can give yourself and your company. The old adage that it takes money to make money is 100 percent true; by putting your profits into the most effective areas of your business, you will grow it faster.