One of the only ways a small business can reach its crucial milestones is by obtaining the right type of business financing to make the investments necessary for growth. While there are many different ways owners will be financing their investments in the New Year, one of the strategies involves utilizing alternative lending.
According to a recent survey by Endurance International Group, 57 percent of small business owners intend on taking the steps to financially invest in their company during 2016. This includes developing new products, purchasing more inventory and materials or investing in real estate. While these investments make sense for any company looking to reach that next milestone, there are other routes owners can opt for that might not be as immediately beneficial, but which can truly help the business over the long term.
Here are four other options small business owners should consider when they make their plans for investing in their company this year:
- A strong Web presence
The Internet is not going away anytime soon and the those owners that refuse to pivot their business model to incorporate a stellar website will find their customer base shrinking. Regardless of whether they’re running a B2B or B2C company, clients and customers of all stripes now expect to easily locate and interact with the business online. This includes having a mobile-friendly site as well, since the overwhelming majority of end users now surf the Web from their smartphones and tablets. As noted in Statistic Brain, only 53 percent of business owners had a website in 2014, which means a lot of businesses still do not have this crucial sales and marketing tool.
- Use a bookkeeper
Many small business owners might feel as if they have the experience and know-how to take care of their bookkeeping and taxes by themselves, and for a great majority of them, they are correct. However, just because you can do it yourself, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best route. Hiring a dedicated bookkeeper – even if it is only part time – can save business owners time, money and headaches down the road. Not only will this individual be sure to have all the company’s receipts in order well before the beginning of tax season, but this person will also file the right deductions and pay everything on time.
- Business coaching
No matter how successful a particular business owner is in running his or her company, finding a coach or mentor will always be helpful. While finding a successful person to act a business coach for free is immensely invaluable, it can be difficult to find the right person without offering at least some financial incentive. Investing in a candidate with superb knowledge, experience and connections can be the boon any owner needs to get past whatever hurdles are holding him or her back from truly finding the success the company has been looking for.
- Hire an assistant
The bigger a business grows, the more work the owner will undoubtedly have to handle. From the mundane tasks of daily operations to the bigger-picture ideas needed to innovate in an increasingly competitive market, business owners are inundated with a plethora of tasks on a regular basis. Smart business owners know when it’s time to delegate some of the less important duties to a subordinate instead of trying to complete each one him or herself. Whether this involves scheduling meetings, answering phones or performing office administration duties, any activity that is is not bringing working capital into the business should be outsourced to someone else. By doing this, owners can focus their time on truly growing the business instead of running around trying to fit 25 hours worth of work into a single day.