When growing your small business, you may come to a point where you have more money than you’re used to. When this happens, it’s always tempting to treat yourself to a new car, but it’s best to direct the funds back into the company and invest them in upgrades that benefit the business, your employees, and your customers.
However, with so many areas in your company, it can be challenging to determine which is most deserving of investment. There are some aspects or departments which run themselves, whereas others are in dire need of attention. Determining what to do with the money can make or break your business, so you must choose wisely and consider these 12 areas to invest in business upgrades.
Systems and Networks
Your computer systems and networks are two crucial elements that need attention. As your business grows, you need to have the capability to handle more demand and interest. If your servers are not up to the task, you cannot serve your customers and clients as efficiently as you would like.
This means you may need to invest in more servers and more storage space. Thankfully, this is not always as expensive as it might seem, so you shouldn’t blow all your budget in a single place. This will also help your programs move quickly, prevents frustration from your employees and avoid system downtime.
Similarly, business security is another strong candidate for investment. Although there is no such thing as a company being too small to be a target, you can reduce the risk of being hacked by bolstering your network security.
Stronger firewalls and more robust software are two ideal approaches that you should now be able to afford. This can save your business hundreds–if not thousands–in possible cyber damages and ensures you can maintain your reputation. Since cyberattacks can damage your reputation among customers, this could be more valuable than you may first expect.
Your company could also research 24-hour protection from outsourced network monitoring firms that provide additional peace of mind in case of system failures.
Company Office Space
Although the office is not considered essential for some businesses anymore, there some companies still require dedicated office space for employees, even if it is not a permanent fixture.
Upgrading your office space by establishing a more welcoming and comfortable space, rather than the depressing cubicle-style approach, can make a substantial difference to your business. If you own your office outright rather than renting it, you can look at businesses that install Corrugated Roofing and additional rooms to provide a more spacious environment for your office space.
This approach can give employees another space to work or relax during their break, letting them escape from their computers.
Technology and Tools
Every business relies on technology and tools to serve customers, keep up to date with meetings, and ensure all stock is accounted for. However, technology is not always perfect, and your business may not be reaching its potential because you are not using top-of-the-range tools.
Now that you have the means to inject more money into your business, look at tools that can help you reach that next level. If your small business has solely used free technology, you can improve your operations by upgrading to Premium software. This can boost your reputation and expand your customer base since you should have more details and metrics to help you learn more about your customers and provide a tailored experience.
Your employees are at the centre of your company’s success, so it’s only fair that you find a way to reward them. When considering how to invest in business upgrades, you can show appreciation for all their hard work by giving them bonuses or raises. You can also think about rewarding them with experiences or adjusting their schedule to provide a better work-life balance, which many professionals look for in the modern world.
Additionally, business owners like you can think about expanding their employee pool. Since your business is on the cusp of growth, you’ll need to bring in more employees to handle the demand. This also gives you the chance to promote from within and let the employees who got you this far show you what they can do in more senior roles with greater responsibility.
Marketing and Content
Just because your business has found success does not mean you can abandon your efforts for marketing and content. If anything, you’ll need to try twice as hard to maintain customer interest and show people that your growth was no fluke.
Thankful, you have the opportunity to spend more money on marketing reach and content ideas. With a larger marketing budget, you get more opportunities to take your business to the next level. You don’t need to film all video content yourself and can create a specific marketing department or work with a professional firm that will bring a wealth of experience to the table.
An increasing number of businesses focus on the importance of sustainability and have attempted to make their company greener. While you might think your small business is not making a significant impact, you can always find ways to reduce your carbon footprint, regardless of its size.
Now, you have the means to research how your business is negatively impacting the environment and make changes to ensure you limit the damage. Even something as simple as paying a little extra for electric vehicle couriers compared to diesel counterparts can set up a positive trend, and you can expand this further by using sustainable materials for products.
Your customers are another area where you can improve your business and prove that you care about their needs. If you do not have a dedicated customer service department, you now have the opportunity to establish one. Likewise, you can invest in chatbots trained with your fundamental company FAQs to answer general questions before directing them to a human agent.
It may also be worth providing customer service training to all your employees. This helps them become well-rounded professionals and means they have the tools to answer any questions even if they are not in typically customer-facing roles.
Website and App
Your website is often the first exposure customers have to your website, so it needs to be good. You must understand the elements your website needs to succeed to keep visitors there as they search for a product or service, and hopefully choose your company over others. If you haven’t upgraded your website in a while, you’ve never had a better opportunity to initiate a redesign.
You can also upgrade your app. It needs to work as efficiently as your website and not crash regularly (or even at all). This gives your customers a convenient way to check products while on the go, while you can also use push notifications to send them deals and promotions that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
Your company infrastructure is the fundamental outline of how your company works. While your early years could have made things simple, your company’s growth will change that, and things may not be the same as they once were.
This can cause internal issues that might upset customers and affect productivity. Making wholesale changes to your business infrastructure is never recommended, but you can hire expert consultants who can offer guidance on how to adequately adjust your business’s setup to ensure efficiency and prevent internal problems from damaging further growth.
Your communication tactics should also be considered for upgrades. You already know how vital communication is within your company, but now you can consider how to make it more effective and ensure better transparency across the board.
Improving your communications means you can introduce new ways of sharing information with employees and investors. It also means you can share information with customers more effectively. If you relied on blog posts or social media content beforehand, you can introduce email newsletters or even text message updates to your customers who want to remain in the loop at all times.
Finances and Budget
The final area to invest in business upgrades is your finances and budget. This is arguably one of the more essential elements since it can set the tone for the next stage of your company’s existence.
If your business has struggled to stay afloat over the past few years, you may not know what to do with the extra money. Your first job can be to pay off any loans or debts you have accrued in that time. From here, think about adjusting and balancing your budget and highlight where you want to distribute the money with the next few years in mind.
Picking the right places to upgrade your business can make a huge difference to your success. You can focus on taking your brand to the next level by providing better service to your customers or rewarding your employees a larger wage. Whatever you choose, you should consider your next move carefully, as there is a chance that you will enjoy even more profits in the future, enabling you to grow your business even more.