When you’re starting out as a small business it can be difficult to know where to invest your money and where you can make savings. Many businesses get it right and succeed but many inevitably get it wrong.
With that in mind, we’ve put together our list of areas you should be investing more money in and areas where you can be saving your precious pounds.
Where to Invest
A Brilliant Idea
Before you start investing your cash in anything, make sure you invest time and effort in your business idea. Finding a unique selling point (USP) is difficult these days but that is something to aim for. Your business’ USP could be a product or simply a part of the service you offer that is different to your competitors.
Having a USP will help you stand out in what is a crowded commercial and services market in 2016. Be critical and test your idea to make sure you are pouring money into something that will be successful.
The best way to test your idea, as I mentioned above, is to conduct market research. This is something that is important in the pre-launch planning stage particularly but it is also necessary to carry out on a regular basis. If you are selling a product, you have to know it is something people will buy and if you are providing a service, you have to make sure it is something people will want.
Continuing research throughout your business’ life cycle is very important to check in on your customer’s needs and wants. By doing this, you can make changes, to hopefully great success, accordingly.
Time to Create a Business & Marketing Plan
After you have your idea, you need to put plenty of time into your business to make it a success. Planning what it is you are going to do, how you are going to do it, what you want to achieve and your marketing strategy are crucial before you set out in the world of business.
While you are still in the planning stage of your business, you should be mindful of cash management. Creating a basic budget of outgoings from the money you have to hand, a list of things you will need to spend money on and any potential income you may have will help you deal with the cash you do have better. This can help you do a number of things including assessing if you need to arrange finance to ensure you do not run out of cash – the lifeblood of all business. This is making the best business decisions based on your finances and creating good business finance practice going forward.
Even after you start up, putting as much time into your business as possible needs to be done to make it a success. The biggest businesses in the world didn’t become a success overnight and unfortunately, neither will yours.
Great and skilled staff
Brilliant people who are passionate about your company and are highly skilled in a particular area you require are valuable assets. These people are hard to come by but when you find them, you should make sure you invest everything you can spare in them.
This doesn’t always mean paying them a huge salary but instead look at rewarding good work with bonuses, time in lieu and praise. Also, always make sure your staff feel secure and valued in a happy and relaxed environment as this is a great way to retain staff.
Good technology and/or machinery
Having ideas and good staff is great but if you don’t have the correct or best tools for the job, you can struggle. If your business involves machinery or computers, make sure you get the best you can afford. That doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive on the market (unless you can afford that) but make sure you don’t scrimp as this usually means ending up with shoddy, outdated or faulty materials. Many new business owners are unaware that they may be able to raise finance to buy equipment.
Where to Save
Although stationery is important for the majority of businesses, there is no point spending a lot of money on it. This will quite easily and quickly waste your start up fund. Buying from cheap online sites or buying in bulk will help you buy the basics you need for not a lot of money. One great money saving tip would be to print your own letterheads and invoices in order to save costs.
If you can save money on rent and office space then make sure you do for as long as you can. There is a reason why so many tech start-up’s begin their lives in garages or bedrooms in parent’s houses. All you need for many businesses is a computer and a great idea. After initial success, comes the investment, offices, staff and more; just look at the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. They are inspiring stories that show that all you need is the basics to be able to create a successful business. But be aware, investment does involve some risk and commitment.
Many businesses spend a lot of their time getting caught up in wordy descriptions, piles of paperwork and confusing words. By cutting back on this as much as possible, you will be freeing up time and money to put into other things. These are things which will usually be more important to the running of the business in the long run.
This is something that may not be possible for some but it is worth looking into. Just like a household budget, one of the biggest expenditures for many businesses are their utility bills. If you have office space then rent, insurance, energy bills, water bills and more soon add up. Using the money saving skills so popular for household bills, you can try to cut your costs if possible on these necessary expenditures.
Planning Too Much
Making sure you plan your business model and marketing strategy prior to launch is important. However, sometimes you can plan too much and this can stifle creativity or stop the business from progressing. It’s always been said that sometimes you can plan too much, this can apply to businesses as well as your personal life. Many business leaders cite taking risks as the key to their business success, something the majority of businesses will need to do at some point.
Where you decide to spend and save your money inevitably is up to you and we wish you every success with your new business venture. However, if you are in any financial difficulties and are looking for advice, feel free to get in touch with us for free, impartial advice.