It’s common to bootstrap your way to success in the early stages of business, limiting your expenses and sticking to the resources you already have. But as you increase your revenue, it’s wise to invest some of the profits back into your business to establish a stronger foundation and support future growth.
But not every investment is worth your time or money. Throwing your hard-earned dollars at every online course or conference isn’t a recipe for success. Safe investments contribute directly to your business goals and produce steady returns.
If you’re sitting on some funds to put back into your business, use the following expert advice to make smart investment decisions that will pay off in the long term.
What you learned in college (or even the first few years of your business) can only go so far. To stay competitive, you must remain up-to-date on business concepts and solutions. Otherwise, you’ll fall behind the curve as other brands dominate the market share.
“Things change,” assures Wendy Kidd of Each & Every Detail. “Invest the time and money in learning about new systems, new practices, or trends that are happening in your industry. You don't have to always use it all, but you need to know what's out there.”
There are many forms of continuing education to consider, so find a route that fits your needs. You could pursue certifications through online training, attend conferences to learn about the latest trends, or read business books to stay informed. With plenty of low-cost options, education is an easy place to start investing.
Investments that exchange money for time are typically worthwhile, as you can allocate reclaimed time to other tasks that move the needle. Technology is the number one way to streamline operations and reduce labor costs in today's business environment.
“With the right tech stack, you have more time, more money, and happier clients,” asserts Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss and Rock Paper Coin. “Software like Rock Paper Coin, Timeline Genius, Merri, and so on have made a huge impact on my company and allowed us to grow leaps and bounds more than we could have without them.”
So if you’re spending most of your days on administrative work and other manual tasks, consider investing in software that can reduce your workload. Whether you need to manage an inventory of rentals or generate invoices automatically, there is a digital solution to fit the bill!
Some of the best investments don’t produce instant results but are worth it to safeguard your business for the long haul. Hiring an attorney is a prime example, especially if you haven’t had your contracts reviewed since the pandemic.
“Investing in an attorney to review your existing client service agreement is a MUST,” confirms Leah Weinberg, partner at Oduberg Law, LLP. “We don't know what we don't know, and you won't be able to spot the gaps or weaknesses in your contracts.”
“Sadly, our firm is seeing a lot of litigious event clients out there, and your first defense is always going to be a solid service agreement,” Weinberg continues. If hiring an attorney is not within the budget, she recommends purchasing attorney-drafted templates for small business contracts from a reputable shop like Legally Set.
Hiring is essential for business growth, but team investments don’t stop once an employment contract is signed. Sarah Chianese of Mangia and Enjoy! argues that ongoing investments in your team are more important than having the latest tools.
“What’s the point of having a shiny new piece of equipment without one of your team members showing up eager to put it into action?” she inquires. “Our industry is based on customer service and pleasing others. We must take excellent care of our team in order to take stellar care of others.”
If you’re wondering where to start, Chianese recommends investing in employee perks like meal stipends, recurring spa trips, a company-wide gym membership, or annual retreats to encourage self-care and team bonding.
As you develop an investment plan, focus on the areas that will produce the most results for your company, team, and clients. Keep your big-picture goals in the forefront, and don’t spend a dollar unless you can confirm that an expense will move the needle!