It's a funny thing about money. Even when you have enough, or more than enough, it can still be a problem. If you're seeing consistently high earnings, or if you've just gotten a major windfall of one kind or another, you face some tough decisions. What do you do with the money?
Here are my top five choices for investing money back into your business.
1. Get training for you and your employees. You and your employees are the greatest assets in your business. Many of us are paid for what we know rather than what we can potentially do. If you can increase your own value to your company by getting further education or training, do it. Or, if you have a couple of great employees, who could be even better at their jobs through high-quality training, make the investment in them.
Do be sure that the training you pay for is specific and valuable. If it's something certifiable and recognized in your industry, all the better. Whatever you do, don't get suckered into a networking event disguised as education.
2. Build a business blog that will bring in new customers. A good business blog does require an investment. You can either invest your own time to get the training, do the work and build the blog yourself. Or you can hire a firm or a freelancer to do it for you.
Why a business blog? Here are five viable reasons, according to HubSpot:
- Companies that blog have 55 percent more website visitors.
- B2C companies that blog generate 88 percent more leads per month than those that do not blog.
- B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not blog.
- Inbound marketing (blogging is the core of inbound marketing) costs 61 percent less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
- SEO and direct traffic leads (which come from good blogging) have a 15 percent conversion rate. Compare that to a two percent conversion rate from traditional, outbound marketing and a four percent conversion rate from social media.
3. Hire that team member you desperately need. Every business needs someone different, who is it for you? If you've already got a good, strong team, and you're not sure what spot you need to fill, ask the folks who are already on your team.
Look for a common theme. Is everybody struggling to keep up with paperwork, or busy answering the phones or e-mails? The tasks that are taking you and your team away from your real work should be delegated to someone else. Invest that money in a new hire and delegate away.
4. Fix the business process that frustrates you. Every small business has at least one of these. It's a consistent snag. Maybe in logistics, in delivering to the customer on time and at a fair rate. Maybe it's on the supplier side. Or maybe it's outdated equipment, old systems that don't work for a growing business such as a point-of-sale system that can't handle your inventory, or a delivery van that needs constant repairs. Fix the problem and you will save many dollars in time and energy. You will also see an immediate boost in morale when that point of frustration is fixed.
5. Give your team a bonus. First, if you haven't been pulling a regular paycheck, you need to fix that now. Forget the bonus, just pay yourself a decent salary.
If everybody's getting a decent salary, consider taking it a step further. A handful of cash is one of the most tangible and effective rewards you can give. I can't really think of anything more effective, honestly, unless it's a cheesecake, a large latte AND a handful of cash.
How have you invested your earnings in the past? How will you invest them in the future?
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