The past few years of growth have been excellent for small businesses everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that today’s leading entrepreneurs are content with sitting back and allowing their profits to collect dust sitting in a vault somewhere. To make it as a small business in this day and age, you need to be constantly investing in your future, an easier-said-than-done feat that many entrepreneurs are still struggling with.
Coming up with sound investment strategies for your small business shouldn’t be a nightmare, nor should it eat away at the attention of an otherwise ever-busy business owner. Here are 5 investment strategies for your small business to consider, and why they can produce results for you.
Start by investing in your employees
The greatest long-term investment that any small business owner can make is investing in their employees, as the rank-and-file workers of just about any business are essential towards its financial success. Many small business owners take pride in maintaining a relatively trim staff, with some entrepreneurs keeping their business entirely within the family. Whatever your workforce looks like, it’s imperative that employees everywhere need constant training and guidance if they’re to help you rake in profits while improving their own skill sets.
If you’re not investing in the development of your employees, you’re making a crucial mistake. Employee training programs often cost a pretty penny, and tech improvements to your workspace that help employees could come with a hefty price tag, but the alternative is lackluster workers who are incapable of getting the job done when you need them to. Read up on sound strategic investment when it comes to bolstering the potential of your labor force, and your business will be sleeping soundly in no time, confident of its bright and cheery future.
Evaluate your existing social media strategy
It’s virtually impossible for a business to succeed in the 21st century without having some form of digital presence, so it’s likely that your small business already has an existing digital strategy or at least the barebones framework of one. Like any investment, however, you should be constantly re-evaluating how you spend money when it comes to your business’ digital strategy and online branding. Most small businesses are letting customers slip through their fingers thanks to their lackluster social media presence, for instance, a problem you can fix with the right amount of cash at your disposal.
It’s no longer far-fetched for small business owners to hire dedicated social media staffers to generate a buzz for their company on the largest platforms of the day like Facebook and Twitter. Not all business owners need someone else to take care of this, however; some entrepreneurs are taking things into their own hands and learning the ins and outs of social media management themselves to save money.
Consider investing in an HR department
Most small business owners hear about an HR department and immediately laugh, chiding such a bulky facet of one’s business as being necessary only for major corporations. As a matter of fact, however, even the smallest mom and pop shops can benefit from having an HR department of sorts, insofar as your employees will always need management and assistance that can be more easily rendered with dedicated staffers on your team.
You can go the full nine yards and brush up on starting an HR department from scratch, or you can consider the smaller step of first hiring a single employee to act as a conflict-management facilitator and general employee overseer.
You need to invest in a recovery plan in the event of a disaster
One oversight that small business owners forget about time and time again is the need to invest in their company’s future when it comes to recovering from a disaster, be it a literal hurricane that devastates your building or a simple PR gaffe that embarrasses your brand on social media. Small businesses of all shapes and sizes should have a plan in place for when things go wrong, and you should consider ponying up some money ahead of time for such things as disaster insurance, especially if your company is based in an area with impending climate changes. For many business investors, this has meant putting their money in more old school investments, such as commodities like gold, silver, and oil. Indeed, it is not difficult to learn to trade silver and these investments have provided a good return since the recession of 2008.
When it comes to establishing a disaster recovery plan for your business, start by asking which employees are absolutely essential and which functions they’re charged with overseeing. These are the workers and areas of your business that will need the most attention when things inevitably go South. Next, consider what you’ll do in the event of such disasters as a significant data breach, a dire event which can cause customers to lose all faith in your business in this digital age.
Don’t be afraid to have a moonshot factory
Before it became known as Alphabet, Google was wowing the world with its moonshot factory, or a special sub-company that it created which would focus entirely on the big picture, long-distance developments in the business world just waiting to be uncovered. The company still dedicates huge sums of cash towards longshot projects which have a slim chance of success but could stand to revolutionize a given industry if they succeed. Your small business lacks the capital that Alphabet has behind it, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit on your hands and wait for others to do the discovering.
The last bit of investment money you have left over should be put into longshot ideas that can help your business reshape its industry and cut off the competition. Even investing in new-fangled developments like drone delivery, which we scoff at today despite the fact that it will soon be ubiquitous, could be the one thing that helps your business survive and thrive well into a digitally-dominated 21st century. Small business owners should never overextend themselves when it comes to investing for the future, but one of the best investment strategies has always been to go to wherever the mob is paying the least attention and spend heavily.
There’s no one miracle investment strategy that will make your small business into a global empire overnight, but by making the right decisions you can help your small operation draw in big profits.