There are plenty of great ways to put money into the business and see an increase in productivity or revenue.
By Edward Wade
For a lot of business owners, if you are not growing it often feels like you’re standing still. The more you grow the more money you make and the more you can grow again, eventually you’ll end up ruling the world. But what’s often not considered, is that with growth, comes considerable investment and further resources to sustain that growth. Sometimes a business can even grow too big for its market. So, apart from expanding, what should you do with your money?
Keeping it as a ‘rainy day’ fund is a safe option and will keep you covered if the business ever encounters cash flow issues. However, although growth sometimes isn’t an option, there are still plenty of great ways to put money into the business and see an increase in productivity or revenue.
Improve the operations of the business.
It’s vitally important for businesses to stay on top of things. Adapting to best practices within the sector and finding the most efficient ways of doing business is what keeps a business competitive. Companies who don’t keep up to date usually end up getting left behind, so a business needs to be constantly improving how it operates to find the maximum output for productivity.
Businesses who don’t try to improve and are content with staying still, will never improve their business and push it forward. Although there is not always room for expansion, no doubt there will certainly be areas for improvement. This may be finding a more cost-effective way of producing stock, finding better machinery, motivating staff in a more productive manner or marketing the business. Improving these kind of business operations has plenty of potential for a sizeable ROI.
Stay up to date with clients
As industries and businesses change, so does the market. Most businesses are dictated by what the market wants, so staying up to date with your clients and doing market research is vital research. Finding out if what your business is doing is right or wrong and trying to correct any mistakes, is how you improve as a business. You can also test new ideas, which could be a product or a service and see how they hold up within the market place.
Market research should be a constant process. Market places change regularly, so with new trends coming into play or client taste adapting, it’s vital a business remains aware of changes so that they are ready to adapt.
Invest in your people
More often than not, people are the most important assets of a business. Without them a business simply wouldn’t be able to function. Keeping people within a business feeling happy and appreciated is one of the best ways to getting more productivity. The more valued an employee feels the more they will want to achieve for the business.
Where possible, invest in educating staff more, have them do further training in their area of work or take them on refresher courses. What knowledge do they need to make the business services they’re providing better? Could they improve on their current method of output? Most of this can be done through training courses or by gaining further certificates, raise their value and they will return the favour and show the business further loyalty.
Most staff will think about investment in them as a salary increase. However, this is not always the most feasible option. Incentivising staff is equally just as effective, whether it be monetary expenses, days out, gym membership or leisure time offers. If a business can show its appreciation for hard work, you will create dedicated loyal staff.
New or improved equipment
Equipment seems like an obvious choice when it comes to investment, but not enough business think about it. No business will want to spend money on things that aren’t deemed necessary. If laptops, printers, or even machinery is working fine, then why fix what’s not broken? The real question, needs to be whether or not if it’s the best equipment available? Or how long the equipment can continue to perform at?
If there is potential improvement on equipment, which can allow your business to work better, then it could be an investment which boosts your productivity. If the cost of buying new better equipment outright is too expensive, asset finance can be a great alternative to bringing in top of the range assets. If new equipment also saves your further loss through broken equipment in the future then it can be a very worthwhile investment.
Market the business
Marketing a business should be a constant ongoing process and is something that businesses need to be constantly adapting to and keeping pace with. A business needs to ensure that it’s up to date with the most efficient ways of communicating. It might not necessarily mean putting tons of money into marketing, simply to promote a business’s brand, but finding the best way of reaching clients or customers. However, it’s primarily down to what the business wants to achieve.
For start-ups engaging with that audience early is essential. Not many new businesses invest into their marketing early or effectively enough. If a start-up plans their marketing strategy early, they can have a positive base to build upon and potentially even have customers already waiting, when the business is launched.
These are just a few potential areas where a business could put money back into the business. What’s key to consider when thinking about investing, is if it will give you a return. Is the spend worth the return? It’s important for a business not to stagnate, but at the same time making a carefully considered investment, is much better than investing for the sake of it.
Edward Wade is a journalism graduate from Sheffield and a writer for Wilson Field, a financial solutions services. He is an avid business writer who focuses on advice for start-ups and SMEs.