When you are preparing to apply for a small business loan, it is important to remember that this is your opportunity to plan ahead and dream big. As a business owner, begin to envision all you can do and accomplish with your extra funds, as the boost in small business capital has the potential to move your goals forward in exciting ways.
To start planning, first brainstorm all the possible scenarios for using your small business capital for your particular type and size of business. Then narrow down and decide how you will invest the influx of money. The lender will typically require you to specify when you apply how you intend to allocate the loan. Here are some key ways to consider using your business capital strategically. These small business investments have the potential to give you significant value and bring you the greatest return.
Every business, no matter the industry or type, needs certain equipment based on its specific needs. Tailor your purchases to your business needs. For example, some businesses need electronics, so you might opt for equipment like laptops, monitors, tablets, printers and phones. The electronics you have can make your business more productive and secure. If you have a cleaning or delivery business, it may be better to invest in non-technology equipment like a reliable vehicle or supplies relevant to the work you do.
- Example: You invest $2,000 in supplies and equipment for your business. As a result of those expenses, you are able to earn $8,000 more for your business within 10 months of spending the $2,000. That’s a significant return on your investment.
Creating Marketing Campaigns
In order to be found, your business needs to be seen, therefore, increasing brand awareness is essential. That means you need to get the word out about your products or services. And there’s a key way to do that: through marketing campaigns. They can be excellent investments in your business growth. Growing a successful campaign can cost a decent amount of money, so take a chunk of your small business capital and allocate it to have experienced and talented marketing experts take the lead.
- Example: A marketing consultant plans social media and content marketing campaigns for your business. That costs $5,500, but as a result of that expense, you generate $27,000 in additional business. That makes the marketing expenses worthwhile.
No matter what type of small business you have, you undoubtedly are wearing numerous hats. Wouldn’t it be great to stop spreading yourself so thin? Consider using a portion of your small business capital to hire some much-needed help. That could mean hiring a designer to create your marketing materials, a writer to handle blog posts and website content, customer service representatives, a virtual assistant, or someone to manage all your social media. Tailor your hiring to what your greatest needs are. In this gig economy, it can make sense to engage the services of contractors and freelancers.
- Example: The people currently working in your business are overloaded with tasks to do, so you hire a part-time customer service assistant and a freelance graphic designer. Although this costs $17,000 in the first year, your business adds $63,000 in revenue.
Enrolling in Online Courses
We could all stand to take our learning and skills up a notch, right? With that in mind, look into enrolling in online courses that are relevant to your small business. They can help you learn skills that will be beneficial to your business growth.
You might consider courses in software to help you run your business more efficiently, website design, photography, communication, or sales. Try courses that are relevant to your business and industry. For example, if you’re involved in information technology, coding courses might be perfect for you. It could also be a good time to invest in courses or training for your staff.
- Example: You spend $799 for several online courses. It has the potential to be avery wise investment, since you estimate those added skills can help you boost business income by $8,500 this year.
So many benefits can come from getting in your car or on a plane and venturing to conferences where you can learn new skills, find inspiration and make connections with potential clients and colleagues. Although these types of events, along with the related travel expenses, can be pricey, look at how much you will gain by attending conferences that can benefit your business.
- Example: Imagine you attend a conference that costs $850 including travel expenses. But while attending the conference, you meet a new colleague who refers $12,000 in business to you. Those conference expenses more than paid for themselves.
No matter how you spend your small business capital, it is important to tailor your spending to your business’s specific needs and opportunities to grow. Many business owners have found that receiving an injection of business funding through a small business loan or line of credit has helped them get to the next level on their path to success, especially when they make wise investment decisions early in the process.
Contributor: Irene Malatesta, Content strategist at Fundbox, passionate about working with entrepreneurs and mission-driven businesses to bring stories to life. Fundbox is dedicated to helping small businesses grow by democratizing access to credit.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.