Small independent businesses bring a lot of character to neighborhoods. They give neighborhoods a sense of value and identity by giving visitors more to explore. Often they are members of the community ensuring access to services for community members.

Independent businesses help communities when they remain competitive and profitable. When the owners don’t invest in the businesses, customers lose interest, and revenue suffers.

Continue reading to discover five key investments for independent businesses to make. Besides making their businesses run more efficiently, these investments will work to keep the companies top among competitors and a force in the business sector.

1. Education

Businesses hire talent based on their skills and knowledge. However, when job hunting, employees consider more than just compensation. They are interested in benefits besides payroll. For many, that includes education reimbursement. They know that education helps them grow. Therefore, education investment is a win-win for employers and employees.

Education is a powerful tool as a business investment. Employees with expertise in an area of business share their knowledge with the rest of the staff. When employees get advanced education, the entire office is more intelligent. Investing in the team improves community and local development. Employer-sponsored education helps build a competitive work environment.

2. Technology

Most businesses benefit from technology. Technology makes processes easier and quicker for businesses. Businesses can also save time and money by using technology. Advanced technology guarantees that businesses don’t sacrifice accuracy or quality when generating work. Investing in technology makes business expenses go down and revenue goes up.

Independent businesses can benefit from investing in technology because:

  • Creating efficient business models
  • Stay competitive
  • Increases leadership qualities
  • Improves productivity

3. Accountant

Entrepreneurs don’t believe they have enough money to hire an accountant. Independent businesses can save a lot of time and money if they invest in an accountant. Accountants also prepare income tax returns and the following:

  • Advise on the type of business to open
  • Advise on growth mechanisms for business
  • Ensure that businesses comply with the reporting regulations
  • Work to prevent financial mistakes, theft, and mismanagement

Depending on the business industry, accountants also:

  • Manage core financials
  • Manage general ledger
  • Manage business depreciable
  • Reconcile accounts payable and receivable

4. Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is important to many businesses. There were companies that were thriving that were shut down because of the frozen economy during the heat of the pandemic. They now realize that an emergency fund is a good investment for a business.

An emergency fund for a business is an account with money that is only used in an emergency. It is important for the company to grow on rainy days. Businesses often put their emergency money into a money market account. The fees for early withdrawal reduce the temptation to use it.

5. Product Development

When you offer a service or product, you need to make sure to invest in consistently improving the quality of what you offer. If you don’t, it’s impossible to stay competitive with new businesses, or larger companies that have access to resources you don’t have as a small business owner. Businesses have to figure out ways to streamline, develop, and different versions of their products. They do that with:

  • End-to-end traceability
  • Standardizing processes
  • Considering real-time status’
  • Efficient internal and external collaboration
  • Ensuring links are connected

For example, if your business is personal training, an online coaching platform is beneficial for more streamlined and flexible services, especially to reduce administrative tasks. According to profi.io, their platform will “…help you save 140 hours/year by automating your admin tasks.” The time you save on those tasks can be given back to you, or extra time for clients. Alternatively, you can increase your client load or expand/promote your business more. 

Conclusion

As you have read, small independent businesses are the backbone of the community. They bring value and identity and give visitors something more to explore. But when independent business owners don’t invest in the business, customers lose interest and cause revenue to suffer. Five critical investments for independent businesses to make have been listed above. Making these investments will ensure that businesses are top among competitors and remain a force in the business sector.

Article by Stephanie Snyder

Stephanie Caroline Snyder graduated from The University of Florida in 2018; she majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently, she is an Author and a Freelance Internet Writer, and a Blogger.