3 Essential Investments For Any Small Business
In a fast-moving and ultra-competitive business climate, it takes a certain kind of person to go into business for themselves. It requires a huge amount of bravery and confidence both in their own skills and their knowledge of the target market they have set in their sights. It takes a rare combination of shrewdness and devil-may-care abandon. Entrepreneurs must go into their enterprises with their cash flow projections carefully and meticulously calculated… Yet they are always, at least to a certain extent, entrusting their futures to the whims of fate. It takes incredible leadership skills and a vision that they can rally their workforce to get behind. Even for these rare few, the path of entrepreneurship is not always paved with gold.
All entrepreneurs must find the balance between investing in themselves and their business to lay a strong foundation for future growth while also guarding against unnecessary overheads and debts that can sink their business before it’s learned to float.
Have the right equipment and know what to do when it goes wrong
Smooth-running and efficient operations start with the right equipment. Whether it’s hardware or software it needs to be fit for purpose and easy to adopt to minimise downtime. It needs to be affordable so that it doesn’t mire your new startup in debt, but also future-proof enough to be just as useful to you several years down the line.
Not only will you need to invest in the right equipment, you will also need to have contingencies in place if it fails. A failure in your infrastructure could lead to a bottlenecking of incoming business and prevent you from fulfilling your obligation to your customers (who will be far more likely to jump into the arms of your competitors than give you another chance). Thus, you should either invest in backup equipment or at least know who to call when it comes to repairing your barcode scanner. Under-spending on capital investments can seriously impede your growth.
A CRM platform… It’s worth its weight in gold!
There are many, many reasons why all customer-facing businesses should invest in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform.
First of all, it can drive efficiency by having all of your customers’ data in a single centralised hub. What’s more, it can ensure continuity of service for your customers by providing you with up-to-date information no matter where you are since many CRMs are cloud-based. It can be used to rally your sales team or even help to foster more cohesion and cooperation between departments as your business grows. Plus, since some CRMs are free, the only investment you need to make is the time it takes to familiarise yourself with it.
The right premises (or what it takes to make them right)
Finally, the right working environment can boost productivity, make your workforce more cohesive and make the often stressful life of an entrepreneur easier and more enjoyable. Thus, if you can afford the overhead costs without impinging on your profit margins you should invest in renting the right workspace.
Bear in mind, that even if you don’t fall in love with your environment straight away, you can take steps to improve it. You’d be astonished that the difference some plants, artwork and plenty of access to natural light can make.