There’s no arguing the old adage “cash flow is king” for small companies. But early in a company’s life, cash only seems to flow out of the company. So before the first flowers of significant revenue emerge, it is crucial that budding companies spend cautiously.
While that may mean a do-it-yourself cleaning staff, a little ingenuity when it comes to phone service, and perhaps logs and matches instead of a thermostat—well, ok, you don’t need to take frugality quite that far—there are certain things you should consider splurging on. In fact, the big bucks you put down now could pay large dividends later, provided they are directed in the appropriate areas.
Consider these five splurge-worthy expenses for your small business:
1. Comfortable office chairs: It takes commitment and long hours to build a company from startup to stalwart. You don’t want to be spending those long workdays sitting on short, plastic chairs that conjure images of grade school. Spend on a comfortable, adjustable chair with a high back that lends the perfect combination of support and padding. You’ll be just a little more excited to sit down at your desk and start your day. So will your employees.
2. Computer security: Your company probably had to spend on computers, monitors, printers and other high-tech gear, so you might attempt to save money by grabbing one of those free adware programs. Don’t make that mistake. Not only will you sleep easy from the reduced threat of hackers, but your company spreadsheets, documents and software will remain safe and sound. Plus, the investment you made in computers will last longer and you won’t be victimized by a demoralizing crash that erases months of your business’s hard work.
3. The company’s online presence: In many cases, your website shapes customers’ first impressions. You want that impression to be lasting, sleek and classy. So don’t cheap out with a cheap site building program, and take the necessary steps to ensure your website properly reflects your vision of the company. And don’t forget to supplement that website with the latest in search engine optimization. Most Internet clicks come from the top of a Google search results page, so spend whatever it takes to get your site up there. Whatever it costs, it will certainly be cheaper than an effective ad campaign.
4. A break area: Nothing hurts your employees’ productivity like a drab workplace. Spend a little to ensure your office is equipped with a break area. Then stock it with coffee, beverages, and a small array of snacks. Employees love boasting about their office perks, and food is at the top of that perks list. For just a few extra snacks a month, your company can be one that employees boast about. And remember, happiness is contagious.
5. Energy efficient appliances: Tempting as the diminutive price tag on those old-school light bulbs, air conditioners, heaters and other appliances for your office may be, you’ll be much better served by the energy efficient models. Not only will they save you money in the long term, but environmentalism is a hot issue right now, and stamping a LEED Certification on your business could attract the activist and younger demographics to your company. Don’t miss out on that opportunity.
You must be careful with your small business’s balance sheet, especially before customers start knocking at your door. But picking and choosing your spots to splurge could save you money in the long term, increase productivity, and ensure employee satisfaction.
Plus, you’ll have a nice comfy chair to sit in at the end of the day.