Investments don’t always come in the form of stocks and bonds. When we buy something, and we know that it will be useful for a long time, we call them investments. There is a long-term vision involved that allows us to see beyond the price or inconvenience of an item or a moment and see its worth in the future. With this kind of definition, it is only natural to view investments not only as something that generates income but something that protects it as well.
Small businesses have so many opportunities to grow. With their scale, they hold so much potential for their possible expansion as well as how long they can last in the market. There are many businesses that pop up and then disappear. We might notice their more obvious flaws, but there are also times when we wonder why they closed down in the first place. Their service or products were good, the staff was friendly, and people frequently came—what went wrong?
It might be that they didn’t find the best working capital solution or that they placed their money in the wrong place. Robberies and poor insurance are some of the more understandable reasons for why some businesses fail, but this also serves as a warning. At the end of the day money should be spent in order to properly “save”. Ask yourself, where is the money going and why?
- Consider investing in items that protect your business.
Security has to come first. The first thing that comes to mind when we think about security is heavy duty guards and thick steel doors and that is one form to protect the product, and if you provide services, protect the people. Daylight robberies are a thing, and when thieves pull it off the first time it is more likely that they will come back again. Nip it in the bud and establish a good security system, be it in the form of guards or 24-hour CCTV cameras. They may cost a lot at the beginning, but they save money in the long run as a deterrent.
Security can also come in the form of insurance policies. If your business is located in a particularly bad neighborhood, one that is accident prone, these policies protect your business from future events. Even when you aren’t located on a fault line or near areas that are prone to landslides, there are policies that can be tailored to your needs. This guarantees that you can properly resume business without having to worry about collecting capital all over again. It may not be enough to fully restore your business, but it does ensure that there will still be a business. Planning for possible events requires the same far-sighted vision that it takes to properly make investments.
- Buy items that will generate income.
After you have properly secured your business, look at things you can invest in that might generate income. It might be a jukebox or a claw machine for a diner. A decent parking space when people buy from a store in a very crowded and busy area. The items may vary according to the needs of the people who come by your business.
Take note that items that will generate income are not products you sell or freebies that are added. These are items that can be used multiple times for a long period of time. They can also be upgrades to your space. Making renovations does not only ensure the structural soundness of your space but also keeps people coming. It doesn’t matter if you manage a grocery store or a restaurant, upgrading your look once in a while shows that you make the extra effort to be on top of everything. Cleaner toilets, shiny floors, and a new paint job do wonders for a business. It gives off the illusion of something new. This kind of change keeps people guessing what you might do next. Besides the comfortable and welcoming environment, it also sends the message that the change might not only be in the space but in the products and services as well.
When thinking about income, don’t only consider single purchases. Maintain your loyal customers, but don’t forget to invite new crowds. Locations in big cities or areas that have heavy foot traffic should make use of this. Not everyone is a part of the neighborhood; be a business that they want to visit whenever they are in the area. Look at how you can draw the crowd in and keep them interested.
- Invest in events.
While appearances go a long way, there needs to be more than just face value. Invest in projects that might generate income as well. It may be through hosting or participating in events. It may be in sponsoring local sports teams or performances. Allow yourself to be seen and sought after. The loyalty generated from this kind of event, whether they are genuinely satisfied with your product or are supporting you the same way you support them, is priceless. These are not time bound and open more possibilities for expansion.
Keeping your money in the bank, stagnant, is not the best way for a business to stay healthy. Having all your eggs in one basket makes you vulnerable to unpredictable events. The best way to use your money is to invest in security, in upgrades, and in building rapport with the community. As your business grows, for small family businesses, this means you can stay in a market longer and perhaps be a form of security for the next generations. Take away the need for big bulky loans and risky investments. Grow steady, even if it means taking smaller but more manageable loans. Being successful is not about how much you can earn in the shortest amount of time possible. It is establishing a following, a name that everyone can trust, and everyone wants to be a part of.