No matter what kind of business you decide to run, chances are that cash flow will be tight during those early years. Most entrepreneurs struggle not just with finding money for their businesses, but also knowing what to spend their budget on.
The saying you need to spend money to make money may be a little cliché, but it’s also true. The investments you make during the early stages of building your business could be the key to setting your organization up for success.
So, what kind of things should you really be spending on?
The most obvious investment is to hire the right people. Many entrepreneurs start off doing most things themselves. However, you’ll quickly discover that as your business grows, you’re going to need some help.
Investing in people like accountants to help you avoid tax problems and marketing professionals that can help your organization grow, will pay off in the long-term. The key to successfully investing in smart people is making sure you know how to get the most from your money.
For instance, you may find it easier to work with contractors and freelancers initially, when money is tight. You can always hire permanent employees later.
Technology is a crucial part of running any business. Whether it’s time-tracking software for remote employees, or AI solutions that help you serve your customers, it’s important to ensure you’re not falling behind your competition.
Sometimes, your technology investments will start simple, such as purchasing a contactless card machine for your retail location. As your company grows, you may invest in more software and solutions to keep your team members as productive and efficient as possible.
Explore your technology options and pay attention to the tools that competitors are using for inspiration on where to get started.
Publicity and Marketing
Your company can only grow if customers are aware of it. As tempting as it may be to sit back and wait for word-of-mouth marketing to do its work, you may need to invest in more marketing opportunities.
Social media advertising, content marketing, and various other forms of digital promotion will help you to reach more customers that are relevant to you.
In some cases, investing in marketing opportunities will also mean paying for a professional to help you craft various aspects of your advertising strategy.
For instance, a content writer could help you to create blog posts and thought leadership articles that rank with the search engines. Don’t underestimate the power of having the right advertising strategy in place.
Networking and Events
Marketing is just one way of getting your name out there and attracting business opportunities. If you’re trying to build a name for yourself, you’ll also need to visit events and networking opportunities too.
Speaking to people you meet on LinkedIn is great, but actually attending events will help you to build deeper connections.
Visiting a local event will give you a chance to hear from other experts in your field. You might even end up getting an opportunity to speak at a conference or exhibition.
During these events, you can also connect with people who might want to partner with or invest in your business at a later stage. All the while, you’re helping to strengthen your position as an active and professional member of a specific community.
We’ve saved this one until last, but it’s actually the most important thing you should be investing in.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to invest in yourself constantly. Sometimes, this means spending a little extra on getting the training you need to succeed. Other times, investing in yourself will mean buying a new suit for the next big meeting you have with investors.
Ultimately, people don’t fall in love with a business. The people who end up buying from your company, working for it, or giving their money to support it, will create an emotional connection with you.
If you’re not investing in yourself, it’s going to be extremely difficult to convince anyone else they should do the same.
Invest the Right Way
Remember, part of investing in yourself means looking after yourself. This means making sure that you get enough nutrition and sleep in your life.
As difficult as it can be when you first start running a company, committing to keeping yourself as healthy as possible will ensure that you have the strength to handle any challenges that may come your way.