No small business owner wants their business to stay small. Growth is something that every small business owner is pursuing – it just comes down to how. And if you talk to those who’ve scaled businesses from tiny startups to massive corporations, you’ll find that it’s all about making the proper investments as soon as possible.
5 Wise Investments for Business Owners
No matter what industry you’re in, how much cash you have in the bank, or what your goals are, here are some wise investments you can make to encourage growth and push your business to the next level.
Without sounding narcissistic, you are the most important investment for your business. Personal growth and development are the driving factors behind your success. And if you want your business to grow, you have to lead the charge. (This isn’t to say other people don’t matter, but there’s only one person you have total control over. And that’s you.)
You can invest in yourself by reading, taking classes and courses, finding mentors, networking, and taking risks. Keep track of what you’re learning and apply these lessons whenever and wherever you can. It might seem slow at first, but your commitment to learning will eventually yield fruit.
You are only one person. If you’re truly interested in scaling, you have to multiply yourself. You do this by hiring people. But not just anyone will do. You need the right people. Here are some characteristics to look for:
- Team player
Technical competency obviously matters, too. But any sort of technical proficiency without these five characteristics will prove to be a futile investment. You need both.
When starting a small business, people typically just do what they have to do to get things done. Business owners wear multiple hats and embrace a variety of tasks – even ones they aren’t proficient at. And that’s fine, temporarily, but it’s not a good long-term option.
“I recommend investing time and money wisely to document important areas such as business development, payroll, accounting, onboarding, employee retention, firm policies (such as expenses, paid time off and grievances) and quality control for your service and products, to name a few,” entrepreneur and business owner Mike Ford writes. “By making an investment in your business early on to develop and document your processes, you also have the opportunity to reduce stress and anxiety within your team.”
Processes also make your business more attractive from an acquisition perspective. If you’re ever going to sell your business, you need processes that will work even after you’re gone. Once you get to a point where your business can function without you, it’s technically able to be sold.
You’ll never regret any investments you make in branding and visibility for your business. Whether it’s marketing, advertising, content, or SEO, these investments extend your reach and help establish credibility with your target audience.
If you really want to get serious about visibility, an investment in link building is worth every penny. According to Link.Build, “Links are one of the stronger signals in search engine algorithms.” Over time, your commitment to backlinks will enhance your search rankings and boost traffic.
- Security/Risk Reduction
As your business grows, make more and more investments in security and risk reduction strategies. Anything you can do to protect the downside is going to keep your business safe and provide peace of mind. Good options include:
- Cyber security solutions
- General liability insurance
- Proper business entity
- Trademarks and IP
You’re never too small to begin thinking about these factors. The sooner you get ahead of these potential issues, the better off you’ll be.
Grow With Confidence
Luck certainly plays a role in the growth of some brands. Something fluky like a feature story on the national news or a viral video on social media can take you from unknown to household name overnight. But instances like these are few and far between. If you want to grow, you need a long-term plan. And while this article is certainly not a comprehensive resource for scaling your small business, it has some valuable tidbits and techniques that you can run with. By investing in them, you can lay the proper foundation – one that will hold steady when the growth spurts hit.