Unless you have the blessing of a whole choir of angel investors, starting a business is a quaint, frugal affair. Resources are tight, and you need to spend them wisely if you want your business to survive past the dreaded 5 year mark. Unfortunately, with so many possible venues for investments, it is easy is to make a mistake that will cost your business dearly down the line. Buying that fancy new high-res printer-scanner combo device can seem like a good idea, but if all you are printing are purchase invoices, that’s money sent down the drain. The good news is, with a bit of research and planning, small business can offset a lot of common problems that are bound to arise during the first few years of their existence. You can’t accurately predict future market conditions, but what you can do is manage your assets wisely so that you leave as little as possible to chance. And knowing what to invest in is the first step towards achieving this. To help you make the best possible decision when it comes to the future of your business, we have devised a list of sound investment strategies for fledgling companies with aspirations of long-term growth.

Employee Training

Workers are the most valuable asset of any company. While tech inevitably gets deprecated over time, quality workers continue to produce value for a company well into its life-cycle. True, particular work-related skills do become obsolete over time, but the advantage that workers have over machines is that they can adapt by learning relevant new ones, thus preventing premature obsolescence. Therefore, investing in employing training is an essential component of any business strategy aimed at long-term productivity growth. Workers will also appreciate the opportunity to improve themselves as a part of their job, which will reduce turnover rates and enhance workplace morale.

Office Ergonomics

The office is where you and your employees will be spending the better part of their time during the day, so it make sense to try to make it a comfortable environment. Otherwise, you risk slow health and morale degradation over time due to improper work conditions. Start by ensuring your office space has enough heating/cooling, light and air by investing in quality windows, air conditioning, and thermal isolation. Keep the bathroom clean at all times, and try to provide the bare minimum of kitchen utensils. Quality of life improvements such as these will go a long way towards boosting job satisfaction, which is essential for keeping your business afloat.

Up-To-Date Tech

To do any job properly, you need the right tools. In the present day and age, these will necessarily include computer hardware and software. Even if your company is not in an IT-related field, having up-to-date hardware and software solutions will produce measurable productivity gains.  Hardware-wise, it is important to find the exact specs you will need to seamlessly run everyday business applications. There is no need to go overboard on state-of-the art tech if the only thing you’ll be using is an office suit, but make sure it runs well in all situations. As for software, make sure you are running latest, bug-free, stable versions of everything you will be using. If your company doesn’t have a resident tech expert, hiring third-party IT support services is essential for ensuring your business can proceed without disruptions.

Marketing Strategy

No matter what line of business your company is in, finding the right customers to sell your products or services to is a prerequisite for success. And in order to do this, some form of promotion  is necessary. Adopting an appropriate marketing strategy is a task that requires quite a bit of research and testing. It is not enough to simply invest resources in a flashy marketing campaign. In fact, in can be quite counter-productive to do so. Instead, focus on trying to understand your potential customers.

On the basis of you find out,  you will then have to craft a promotional strategy which targets their specific needs. Marketing can be done both offline and online, depending on what counts as a sale for your line of business. A field related to marketing which you should look into is search engine optimization, the practice of editing your online content for better ranking on search engine result pages.

Legal Services

Having legal support is essential for navigating the world of business. Your company will inevitably run into situations where its interests are being threatened by foul-play, and the only recourse is to take legal action against the perpetrators. This can occur both within the company, as well as in relation to third parties. Additionally, every company must comply to the laws of its resident country, as well as any applicable international treaties. Breaking the law is one of the fastest ways to run your business into the ground. There are two ways of handling legal support, having an on-staff legal expert, and hiring outside professionals.

Small business need to keep track of every penny to get the maximum out of their limited resource pool. With so many thing to invest in, it can become quite hard to determine what you should be spending your money on. While there is no surefire recipe for success in this regard, we feel that by following the guidelines we have outlined above will bring your company one step closer to making the right decision.

Author: chloesmith