If your business takes off, you manage it well and avoid common money mistakes, there will come a time when you’ll be generating a surplus. It’s a great position to be in and introduces a whole new level of opportunity. You’ve moved beyond working for yourself to having money that can work for you too. So how do you make the most of it?
Reinvesting in your business can help it grow in a number of ways, from improving how you use technology to hiring more employees. If you are ready to put money back into your business there are a few strategies you can use to improve your chances of a positive and profitable return.
1. Review your efficiency
It can pay to start by reviewing your business efficiency. What could you invest in now to save time and money later? By analysing each facet of your business, you may be able to find areas that need improving. By investing in systems or processes that are outdated or require greater streamlining, you can improve the goods and services you offer.
Break down your time. Are there any processes that take up a lot of your time where a new piece of equipment or technology could speed things up and free you up?
Are your communications fully up-to-date? You should review your website every 2-3 years. The majority of searches are now made of mobile devices; is your site mobile friendly, does it load quickly enough, how is your overall search ranking? Are you making good use of online systems and processes to manage your accounts and customer communications? If now better use of technology could be making a massive difference to your business efficiency and productivity.
2. Invest in Digital Marketing
Social media continues to grow as a key communications tool for businesses of all sizes. It is as much science as art. While it’s important to have an authentic voice and genuine engagement with your followers, developing a strategic approach with a social media manager or expert can make a huge difference. These professionals can research effective SEO keywords, create videos, infographics, and tweets for you, and run your social media so that you might have more time to come up with new products and services that might interest your customers and draw new ones.
Without clear commercial goals social media can be a huge time waster. So take this time to review how your business could make more of this potentially transformational tool.
Investing in and improving your own skills doesn’t need to cost much. The digital business academy offers an amazing range of free training and case studies. And you can also learn a lot from looking at how successful companies use social media technology to reach a larger audience and gain new clients.
3. Space to grow
It’s never been easier to run a business from home. And it’s also never been easier to take the first step into a dedicated office space. As you begin to grow you may need to review space. It’s not always comfortable having employees work in your home. And as the business scales up you may want to have a clearer separation between work and home.
There has been an explosion of co-working spaces in the last few years. These are shared office spaces where you can rent a desk. Usually you can either have a flexible arrangement where you have a space a few hours a week, or you can have your own fixed desk space. These spaces, which are shared by entrepreneurs, freelancers, and employees of small businesses, are typically not as costly as traditional office space and may offer your workers some elbow room, as well as a social environment in which to thrive.Co-working tends to have very flexibly rental arrangements, so if it doesn’t work out you can leave with just a few week’s notice.
4. Invest in the future
Investing in your business includes investing in its future, and yours as well. As the owner of a small business, putting profits aside for retirement can help give you peace of mind for what is to come and to ensure you have a nest egg set aside when you get older.
Research from the RSA and others has found that the proportion of self-employed people contributing to a pension has declined sharply. Given poor pension returns more of us are investing in property and ISAs instead. But while a pension is less flexible, it remains more tax efficient and a sensible element of any retirement plan.
If you are in a position to start making more extensive investment decisions, in can pay to get professional advice from an investment company, such as The Street, that can offer you information on how to plan for your retirement, no matter your age.
If you have significant funds to invest you may want to broaden options to include global investment opportunities as a way to possibly increase your retirement fund. Be sure to get good advice and be clear about how such investments work and what the risks may be, especially if you have never delved into such opportunities before. Working with reputable investment company can help you feel more confident about where you choose to put your money.
5. Invest in Apps
Mobile phones are transforming our social lives and the way that we do business and spend money. Apps are where it is at. So take the time to review how your business could benefit from the apps revolution. Could you be part of a sales platform, like Amazon, Etsy, Airbnb or Peopleperhour? Those platforms are all app-based and can propel your business into pockets everywhere.
Alternatively, it may be worth considering having an app designed for your business. It can be a powerful way of serving and connecting with customers. One-touch ordering, fast search options, and instant access to customer service make apps powerful business tools. First, invest in a bit of market research and discover what your customers might look for in such a tool. Having the app designed for their needs, not the needs of your company, can offer you the greatest chance of a positive return on your investment.
Being in a position to reinvest in your business and your future can be one of the most satisfying times you will have in business. You can re-imagine the future and start building steps towards it. Take the time to savour your success. Then do your homework to make sure that those next steps are built on really solid ground and that you can move forward with confidence.