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If you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur, and if the opportunity to start your own business has finally presented itself, you’ve got some pretty exciting times ahead of you. But you’ve also got some tough challenges to weather through, like coming up with enough working capital and spending it on the right business equipment and software.
As the old saying goes, you need to spend money before you can earn money. How do you ensure that your first business expenses go towards things that you actually need—and things that will put you on your way to generating a steady profit? To answer those questions, here’s a list of five essentials that you should invest in. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business, an online business, or a business whose model will draw from a mix of onsite and online channels, here’s where your money should go:
A Business Website
Websites function just like physical storefronts in the sense that they advertise a business’s goods and services and they let potential customers learn what the business is about. As such, one of the first things that you should invest in is a dedicated business website. It’s highly recommended that you also purchase a domain name that’s easy to remember and that also incorporates your business brand.
A well-designed and professional-looking website will leave a strong impression on customers. From your website alone, they can judge your brand to be reputable, forward-thinking, and a cut above the brands you’re competing against. This, in turn, will motivate customers to patronise you and recommend your business to others.
Business Communication Tools
The second aspect of doing business that you should consider investing in for you and your team is business communication. Business communication tools are essential for establishing business partnerships with clients and suppliers, addressing customer concerns, and collaborating with employees at all levels.
It’s worth investing your money in a strong communication ecosystem that includes complete productivity software suites, premium subscriptions for video conferencing apps, and your own business phone system. Several of your business needs are bound to evolve as you grow bigger and spend more time in the industry, but one thing that won’t change is your need to connect with partners, customers, and employees.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
If you eventually plan to build a large inventory and populate your company with a large workforce, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a must. Your business will benefit from an ERP platform that can consolidate your sales, inventory, warehousing, bookkeeping, and human resources (HR) at the same time.
ERPs are a boon for businesses that intend to scale up, expand, and make a wide repertoire of products available to customers. Knowing that you eventually want to work towards this scale, invest in ERP software as soon as you’re able.
Accounting and Financial Management Tools
Next on your to-buy list is a suite of accounting and financial management tools for your business, especially if you intend to do your accounting and bookkeeping in-house. It may be possible to oversee a manual accounting and finance system in the early days of your business, when you don’t have as many customers or suppliers to engage with. But as your business grows—and as its financial housekeeping needs become more complex—it will eventually become necessary for you to modernize your accounting and finance system with new tools.
Start ahead and acquire a working set of accounting and financial management tools, preferably the kinds that rely on cloud computing. This investment will help you and your team become more efficient at managing your money, which will, of course, increase your business’s chances of succeeding in the long term.
Hardware Like Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones
Lastly, you and your business staff may need new hardware for everyday business tasks like communicating with clients, managing business files, and operating a mobile point-of-sale (POS) system. Set aside part of your company budget to acquire laptop computers, desktop computers, smartphones, or tablets with specifications that meet your business needs.
It’s true that new hardware can be pricey, but the right upgrades will help you accommodate more customers and execute key business tasks without a hiccup. Base your new hardware purchases on how many units you’ll realistically need, as well as which devices will be compatible with the business software you use.
Takeaway: Making Smart Investments in Your New Business
You don’t have to spend a fortune on your business in its earliest stages, but there are definitely a few things that you shouldn’t scrimp on. When these aspects are taken care of, you’ll be able to build a name for your business in terms of efficiency, attention to detail, and quality of service.
Do your research on how to acquire working capital to start your business and which business products and services you should consider. That way, you can make the right investments and lay out a proper foundation for your new business’s success.