When you start or buy a small business, there is an overwhelming amount of work to do to get it up and running, successful, and turning a profit but there are a number of investments that you can make to maximize your early effectiveness and it is important to prioritize investments that will deliver a tangible benefit.
There are a number of business professionals whose services can prove a very sensible investment for a new business:
Accountant – choosing the right accountant is critical as they will ensure that you are correctly recording and reporting your income and outgoings and will be able to advise you on tax and IRS issues. Paying a good accountant to manage your books will save you money in the long term.
Web designer – most people will check out a business’ digital footprint before heading into your premises. An attractive, up-to-date website which clearly explains who you are, what you do, and details your prices will entice visitors.
Decorator – if your new business premises hasn’t seen a lick of paint for a while, this is your opportunity to refresh it and make it your own. DIY paint jobs are fine but a professional decorator will leave a dazzling, clean finish which will appeal to passing foot traffic.
Your staff – whether you’ve bought an existing business and inherited staff, or are setting up from scratch, it’s vital that the team understand how you want to operate, and buy into your values and ideals. They need to operate as a cohesive unit and a professional staff training organization will be able to create and deliver a bespoke package of training to achieve this.
Whatever the type of business that you are running, it is important to have the right software for the job. The software that you choose to invest in should provide you with a solid return on investment – either in terms of increased profits or reduced time spent on administration.
If you plan to record your income and expenditure yourself and then get your accountant to check them over, rather than relying on your accountant to entirely manage your finances for you, then it is important to use the software that they recommend. It will need to be compatible with their system in order to be truly effective and to provide the reports and outputs that they need to file your tax returns.
You may decide to run your website yourself once it is up and running rather than relying on a web designer for every change or update that is needed – this is particularly likely if you are running a restaurant where the menu may change frequently. Liaise with your web designer to ensure that they build your site in a tool which you will be able to manage yourself once it is up and running. If you require training on how to operate it effectively, it would be wise to factor this into the budget.
A business based in a busy retail district or mall may choose to invest in digital signage software. Together with your fresh, attractively decorated premises, a digital sign will allow you to present your logo, offers and a huge range of other relevant information to the world, updating and refreshing it whenever you want. This will keep passing foot traffic interested and more likely to visit your business to satisfy their curiosity.
The right equipment will make your job easier. Of course, the type of equipment that you need will depend entirely on the type of business that you are running.
For example, a mobile auto mechanic would likely invest in portable diagnostics equipment, an array of high quality tools and a card payment machine which links to their mobile phone and operates via Bluetooth to accept payments when out with customers.
A retail store owner would benefit from good quality fittings which reflect the style and type of outlet. The fittings should be easy to keep clean and display store inventory in its best light. They would also benefit from a point of sales system that is easy to operate – a cheaper, simple POS is advisable if many staff will be using it. Modern POS systems also track inventory and assist with re-ordering and reporting trends.