6 Strategic Investments to Propel Small Businesses to New Heights 

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Your business is more than your livelihood. It represents your vision, your way of impacting the world. What are some of the best strategic investments you can make to propel your dream to new heights? 

You have many decisions to make and factors to consider. Although a lack of capital funding is one of the main reasons small businesses fail, another mistake is spending available money in the wrong areas. 

What is the best place to spend your limited funds to fuel your growth, leading to bigger and better things? Here are six strategic investments to propel small businesses to new heights. 

1. Disaster Preparedness 

How well was your company prepared to weather the recent pandemic? During the second quarter of 2020, more than 700,000 small businesses shuttered their doors, resulting in millions of jobs lost. 

Organizations that fared the best considered such eventualities in their strategic planning. For example, those that already embraced innovations such as remote working had minimal transition work to do — business more or less continued as usual. 

Making strategic investments in disaster preparedness can help you capitalize on the opportunities such events create instead of crumbling in their wake. Do you have a plan in place for: 

  • Common natural disasters: Varies by region but may include hurricanes, floods and wildfires, all of which can decimate a small business. 
  • Pandemics
  • Civil unrest: Rising tensions can lead to street violence and the related destruction of property. 
  • Cyberattacks: How safe is your proprietary information? More on this in the technology section. 
  • Supply-chain issues: Having a diverse group of vendors you work with can help you stay afloat if it suddenly becomes challenging to get needed supplies from one or more. 

If you don’t have a plan for such events, prioritize this area. Talk to your insurance advisor and attend networking events where you can talk with other business leaders who have weathered such disasters in the past and come out ahead. 

2. Secure Technical Solutions 

Keeping your organization’s data secure is a must in today’s high-tech society. In 2022, the average cost of a single data breach reached $4.35 million, including ransom payments, lost revenues, downtime, remediation and legal and audit fees. Is your small business prepared to cough up that much cash? 

Taking measures to increase cybersecurity is a must, and not only for diverse teams working from multiple locations. At a minimum, you should take these measures to secure your data: 

  • Tech solutions: Use a firewall on your router and protect each PC with security and anti-spam software. Do the same for mobile devices and require all team members to regularly update their passwords. 
  • Access issues: Limit access to your network and its various files. Have different security levels for team members, depending on their role in the organization. 
  • Educate your team: Create a security culture through regular training and reward those who follow the procedures or contribute to increased security. 
  • Create backups: Cloud technology lets you create secure backups of data you can access from anywhere.
  • Destroy old technology properly: Before you recycle that computer or mobile device, ensure you wipe it clean. 

3. Fleet Management 

If you’re a manufacturer, distributor or work in the transportation or construction industry, you likely have a fleet of vehicles. Ensuring they receive scheduled maintenance saves you a bundle on repair fees and time loss while the asset is out of commission. 

What if you occasionally need vehicles for particular uses, like towing a heavy load — should you buy or rent? Consult with your accounting professional. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are tax deductions for depreciation when you own the equipment.

The same goes for all vehicle types, not only trailers. For example, if your business frequently has you running errands around town, investing in an electric vehicle makes clean, green sense. However, those who only fly to conferences once or twice a year are probably better off renting a car at the airport. 

4. Online Marketing and SEO 

When was the last time you let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages? You aren’t alone if your response is, “I don’t know — 1995?” People searching for goods and services today turn to the Internet first and foremost. If you don’t have a commanding web presence, you could lose out on new clients and profits. 

How extensive your website needs to be depends on your organization and what you do. However, it’s impossible to overstate the value of name recognition. 

For example, say you own a roofing company. A few hundred bucks will get you a simple landing page, but consider how often the average consumer has their roof replaced. Most people are more likely to search online for tips, such as how to clean their gutters. A well-run blog, perhaps supported with video content, provides the information they need — and when it comes time for new shingles, your organization will be the first place they turn for help. 

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5. Facility Comfort and UX  

Have you ever walked into a retail establishment that looked neglected, maybe even dirty and depressing? Chances are, you didn’t shop there long. 

The user experience matters, especially in customer-facing businesses and those that see multiple clients frequently passing through their doors, like accounting offices. Is your establishment somewhere you’d like to linger? If not, get moving on comfort and crowd-pleasing amenities, such as: 

  • Comfortable seating 
  • Lighting that’s easy on the eyes 
  • Sensory touches — is the temperature pleasant? Are there any funky odors to address? 
  • Complementary water 
  • Small customer appreciation gifts — even magnets and pencils bring smiles and repeat business. 

6. Your Staff 

There’s much talk in business circles about why people are reluctant to work. Some changes you can’t fight and realities you must face. We live on a round planet with finite resources, and there’s more to life than work — people crave time to live, be with their families, pursue their passions and actualize their dreams. 

However, other issues lie within your power to address. Common reasons people give for growing weary of work include: 

  • Lack of purpose: If your team doesn’t know why their role in the organization is important or the larger goal, they’ll feel disengaged. 
  • Lack of appreciation: 68% of employees in a recent survey indicated they would quit if they felt undervalued. 
  • Lack of flexibility: The RTO push has backfired on many companies, even large ones. If you sometimes work from home or keep flexible hours, let your employees do the same.
  • Burnout: The US works its people harder than any other nation in terms of failing to provide paid leave. People need breaks. Period. 

An all-too-common mistake small business owners make is treating workers as if they are easily replaceable. Doing so adversely affects the bottom line. It costs between $30,000 and $45,000 to replace an employee earning $60,000 — and that’s not considering the higher salaries new hires demand today to keep up with inflation. Take care of your team. 

Propel Your Small Business to New Heights 

Your business is more than your livelihood — it’s your dream. Strategically investing your available funds can propel your business to new heights. 

Prepare for disaster, secure your enterprise, handle maintenance, get your name out there and care for your team. Do these things, and your small business should grow. 

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