Small businesses help the economy thrive by providing jobs and valuable products and services to others. In order to help your small business succeed, you need to invest in the business regularly.
Depending on the industry you’re in, investing in your business doesn’t always mean spending a ton of money. There are practical and effective things you can commit to doing each month to grow your business and customer base (even while on a budget).
Here are 5 proven ways to invest in your small business.
Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill that can help you save or earn more is always a good idea, especially if you don’t have a large team to delegate things to just yet. Sometimes, learning a new skill can mean taking a class or going through a certification program. Other times, it can be learning how to use Pinterest or creating a new product you can sell.
For example, let’s say you’re running an Esty store and getting a few sales per day. You decide to improve your social media skills to better market your business and hopefully reel in more sales. This could involve taking a short class about Instagram or even just playing around with the features yourself and watching free tutorials on YouTube.
Get a Mentor or Coach
Getting a mentor or business coach can be one of the best ways to invest in your business, regardless of where you are in the entrepreneurial journey. A good mentor has been in your shoes and can provide valuable insight to help you avoid common costly mistakes. Mentors and coaches can also help you refine your strategy, review your business plan, and provide accountability if you’re looking to make some time-sensitive changes.
Some organizations even provide free business coaching, such as the SBA’s Score Business Mentoring Program. You may also be able to call your local Chamber of Commerce of Village Hall for a free consult about starting a business in your town.
Further, some business mentors provide free advice and tips via videos online, whether it’s on YouTube, Tiktok, or another platform.
Buy New/Better Equipment
At times, you may need to invest in new or better equipment in order to run your business more efficiently. Thoroughly research items you may need and even start a wish list so you can purchase equipment over time to spread out the cost. Some companies even allow you to buy items using working capital which is a short-term loan based on your current sales or outstanding invoices.
Investing in new or better equipment can also include online tools such as a social media scheduling tool or online store platforms such as Shopify. Consider investing a percentage of your profits back into the business to make sure you have the items you need to grow and maintain quality. You can also deduct these purchases on your taxes, so be sure to keep track of your recipes and purchases to make the accounting process run smoothly.
Attend Networking Events
This is another great way to invest in your small business. Sometimes, we underestimate the power of networking and attending industry events. Networking is still a powerful tool, especially if it’s done in person. You can meet new potential clients, partners, and even land new contracts as a result.
You never know who knows who. Even if you’re not very experienced in networking, I encourage you to find a local event to attend and start practicing your communication skills. It’s not that scary once you get used to it.
A few years ago, I worked up the courage to attend a women’s networking breakfast event at a local boutique. As a writer, I was able to connect with several people who ran businesses that needed content, such as blog posts and writing for their websites.
Another conference I liked to attend at the start of my business was a personal finance conference. Since I generally write about financial topics, it was a great way to learn and connect with others. Even though I had to pay for my flight, conference ticket, hotel and food, I always deducted these costs from my taxes.
This particular conference always gave me a great ROI as well since I always met new paying clients there.
Sometimes, one of the best ways to invest in your business is by outsourcing some of your work. Consider hiring a team member of virtual assistant when you feel ready. If you have budget constraints, hiring an intern could be helpful as well.
Lay out your core processes and determine which specific tasks you’d like someone to help you with. This may include tasks that you know how to do but aren’t interested in. Also, tedious tasks like checking email, paying invoices, and scheduling weekly newsletters can easily be outsourced.
It may take some time to train your new hire, but delegating is key in growing your business. Focus on keeping clear lines of communication open and providing a pleasant, professional environment to better retain team members.
Summary: Invest In Your Small Business Early and Often
When you have a small business, you should always be investing in it in some way. Businesses need to be nurtured and maintained in order to thrive and grow. The best way to start investing in your business is by brainstorming a list of needs and goals.
You will need to set a budget as well since many of the methods on this list will cost money. However, do not let limited finances hold you back. You can start investing in your business with free training opportunities, complimentary resources from the SBA, as well as local groups and organizations for entrepreneurs in your area.
Do you have a small business or side hustle? How have you been able to invest in your business this past year?