For a business owner, life is all about productivity, cash flow and keeping an eye out for ways to improve profits. When the balance is off—you know you could get more business but you’re not profiting enough to invest in improvements needed to grow—fresh funding can be a shot in the arm you need.
If you’re not sold on how funding can help, take a good look at your operation. Would kitchen upgrades enable your restaurant to be more productive? Is an additional location what your retail business needs to thrive? Do you want to get the word out through marketing to attract more customers?
In most circumstances, a funding boost can help you do what it takes to grow your business so it will thrive.
1. Upgrade your tech
These days, businesses rely on technology in some way. Those that don’t would likely be better off if they did.
Computers – Replacing old computers with newer models that have more capacity can enhance productivity.
Software – The right software will give your business an efficient way to do everything from tracking inventory to sales to customer interactions. Software can also help you use all this information to the best advantage. Other kinds of useful software include apps and programs that enhance internal efficiencies such as document and file sharing, accounting spreadsheets, videoconferencing and more. Now more than ever, secure your data.
Website – Keep your website up to date. A good site can attract search engines, put you in front of more users and improve your customer interactions. More and more people are turning to buying online, so if it makes sense consider creating an ecommerce site.
Mobile tech – Using tablets and other mobile technology can streamline the sales process and generally increase productivity.
2. Focus on your staff
Your staff members are one of your most essential assets so it’s wise to invest in them, whether rewarding them or providing things they need to make their jobs more pleasant and efficient.
Training – Refresh your staff’s capabilities with training. Bring in a specialist to hone their skills and perhaps teach them new procedures.
Provide what they need – Take care of your employees so they know they’re appreciated. Make sure the equipment they work with is of quality and in good working order. Spend some money improving the physical work environment. Provide new office furniture, like ergonomically sound desk chairs and computer desks. Keep supplies fully stocked.
Pamper them – Some companies bring in a massage therapist once a week to give chair massages. Take everyone out to lunch or dinner from time to time. Have food brought in during a group brainstorming session or meeting. Throw an annual picnic for your employees and their families. Put money aside so you can reward your staff once in awhile. Give bonuses at the end of the year, or just because. Hand out restaurant gift certificates. Give everyone a gift for the holidays.
3. Make capital expenditures
Whether it’s a building, land or new equipment, money spent well can make a positive difference.
Expand – Open a new location to grow your business in a new market. This can help grow a retail or service business. If you own your current facility and don’t plan to add a second location, consider remodeling and enlarging it to be more accommodating to growth.
Major purchases – Does your company own vehicles? These represent your company to the public, so replace older, less efficient cars, vans or trucks with newer models in good shape. Give them a uniform look. Consider replacing a fleet with fuel-efficient vehicles.
Every business and industry has a different set of needs. As you think about how to best spend extra funds to take your business to the next level ask yourself how an option will affect the company. Will it help serve customers better? Will it make your product or service more efficient? Will it increase productivity? Prioritize expenditures that can help grow revenue for your business.