There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States. Standing out among the masses can be a challenge at best. In order to set yourself up for success for the long-term, here are 5 areas where you can invest in your small business to get ahead of the competition:
Build Your Brand
Building a strong brand is a smart way to invest in your small business. If you want to grow your business online, you need to grow your brand first. Your brand is more than a nice logo, it’s the identity of your business. You want a brand that elicits emotion and is easy for your audience to connect with. Although your brand is more than a logo, having a professionally designed logo is one of the first steps toward great branding. Work with a designer who understands your company’s vision and can translate that into a visual masterpiece.
Good branding can also motivate your employees. It can help them understand the vision and mission of the company and gives them something to take pride in. It can give your employees a purpose.
Adding new technology to your business’s repertoire is one way to invest in your small business and get a quick and measurable return. The options are endless, from upgrading your office communication to something like Slack, using free data programs such as Google Analytics, or using an integrated CRM platform such as Salesforce.
Shore Up Security
Security is one area that will always benefit from an investment of time or money. Investing in employee training is a surefire way to bolster your security plan. Avoid a costly breach by ensuring your staff are up to date on your business’s security protocols and know what to do to avoid being an easy target for hackers. An investment in an MSSP, or Managed Security Service Provider, is also a wise use of your resources. They will essentially take care of your business security plan, exposing your vulnerabilities and hardening your defenses.
Pour into Your People
Hiring employees can be expensive, so keeping the employees you currently have is important. Retaining talent and experience is a way to invest in your small business that will pay off in the near and distant future. Do some of these things to make sure your employees hang around
- Institute a good benefits package that includes employer matching to a retirement fund or 401 (k).
- Invest in training, education, and professional development for your staff.
- Foster a healthy work environment.
- Take the time to get to know your employees.
- Set the example and maintain a good work/life balance.
Say ‘Yes’ to Yourself
The company wouldn’t exist without you, the small business owner. Taking the time to invest in your own wellbeing is essential to the health of your company. If you want your company to remain successful, you need to take the time to invest in your own personal relationships, physical health, professional development, and mental health. If you still think that caring for yourself is at the bottom of your priority list, think about how it’s impacting your employees. You are responsible for setting the example and the tone of the workplace. If you’re burning the midnight oil, chances are your employees feel the pressure to stay at work too. Not only will you burn out, but you’ll be taking the whole company down with you.