As a business owner, fall is a great time to regroup and set new goals for both the short and long term. Whether you’re new to being self-employment, or you’ve been doing it for decades, it’s always important to assess your overall business model, track your progress, and plan your next steps forward. Usually what you’ll find is that a few upgrades are needed to keep your growth on track and to stay competitive. The investments you make now won’t just help your bottom line, it will make your business that much more appealing when it comes time to find new investors or sell your business so you can retire with more wealth. Let’s take a look at a few of the best upgrades to make in order to see optimum growth while keeping on track financially:
1. Equipment & tools First, safety should always be top of mind, so if you need to upgrade your equipment, tools, vehicles and so forth to keep everyone safe, it’s always a good investment. Next, you need to look at ways to improve efficiency and productivity which doing a little research as to what upgrades will work best would be your first step. Further, you need to make sure your equipment won’t soon be obsolete, and that it improves – not impedes – performance.
2. Technology While we know that technology is always changing and it’s impossible to keep up with every trend, there are specific upgrades your business or industry may benefit from. Key priorities to consider when upgrading include: - Do you need to improve workplace and client communications? - Do you need to better track inventory, orders, sales, payroll, etc.? - Is security, cyber-security, surveillance or monitoring a concern? - Are your processes as efficient as they could be? - Is there an upgraded model of machines you use regularly that would be of benefit? - Can you keep up with your competition?
3. Going green What is your company’s carbon footprint when it comes to your equipment, processes, emissions, waste products, recycling efforts and so on? Being environmentally friendly isn’t just a passing trend, and not only is it good for your image, but it also helps improve customer loyalty while you help save the planet. Here in Ontario, there is a direct rebate program for small and medium-size businesses to get back up to half the cost of buying more energy-efficient equipment and appliances. There may be other grants available specific to your industry so be sure to seek them out and take advantage when possible.
4. Marketing and advertising If business isn’t booming, or it’s stagnated, perhaps you need a new marketing or advertising strategy or plan. This includes investing in your website, social media and/or branding. If you want to grow steadily advertising consistently, year-round is a must.
5. Company culture & staffing One of the best investments you can make in your business is by hiring top talent. Invest in your employees by providing regular training, a positive work culture, and benefits. In fact, offering group health benefits can give you a competitive edge and help you attract and retain dedicated employees. At Synergy Life Financial, we offer cost-effective options to keep your employees happy and healthy! For more information on your benefit options click here.
How to pay for upgrades Now that you have your business plan in place and you’re ready to make some upgrades, how will you pay for it? It’s essential to seek sound financial advice and find tax-saving ways to purchase your business upgrades. For example, you can buy items through a lease and write off the payments, you can look for industry deals and promotions, buy last year’s models on clearance, trade in your old models for a new one, look into ‘lease-to-own’ options, and so on. Don’t forget that there are loans and grants you can apply for to fund business improvements which can considerably help your bottom line. It’s also important to investigate the financial benefits of owning or perhaps not owning high-ticket equipment at the end of a lease. So, be sure to review all of your options with your accountant and your financial advisor before purchasing to ensure you’re taking advantage from all angles.
If you’re thinking of making upgrades and improvements to your business, give Darryl Smith a call at Synergy Life Financial. Our goal is to help you position your business, organize your finances and help prepare you for retirement within 10 years of getting started. Darryl will work with you to create a plan that will allow you to retire comfortably according to your timeline. For more information on how to maximize your business as part of your retirement savings, check out these 10 tips!