Three Things for SMEs to Get Right the First Time
Sometimes, you have to spend money to save money. This is especially true of long-term investments and durable goods. Paying more upfront for quality, durability, and reliability can save you a lot of money over time. On the other hand, going for the most seemingly affordable option can backfire, signing you up for expensive and frequent repairs or replacements. Here are three things your small to medium enterprise should invest in now to save money over the long run.
If you’re telling investors that they can get in on your business’s ground floor, you need to make sure that the floor is built to last. It’s strange to think about, but if you own any commercial space for your business, be it a small office, storage, or retail space of any size, your floor is literally the ground beneath your feet. Consider options such as polished concrete flooring, which will last for decades with very little maintenance and has the advantage of having a lower upfront cost than many floors.
Maybe your business runs a small fleet, or perhaps you have a van or truck for deliveries. Either way, there are many things to consider when investing in fleet services, leasing, rental, or outright ownership of business vehicles. Lower cost vehicles may break down frequently or may not be the right vehicle for the jobs you ask them to do, resulting in costly accidents. In that case, you are probably paying more than you should over time and would save money with higher quality or more appropriate vehicles. Incorporating routine maintenance into your business practices can also help save on repairs and increase a vehicle’s longevity.
Few things can crash employee satisfaction like lousy software or hardware that routinely malfunctions. And your customers will soon be just as frustrated as they wait for employees to wrangle balky tech. Because your software and hardware decisions are often dependent on one another, investing in your IT in the first place is one of the most critical things you can do for the success of your business. We have all heard, and most of us have lived, horror stories about a company being stuck with a terrible software vendor because they’ve already invested in their hardware, or vice versa. Even if your technology requirements are as simple as a few phones, tablets, and computers, take the time to research reliability, ease of use, and longevity. If you can, speak to other businesses similar to yours who use the technology to find out if they are satisfied. Don’t just talk to managers, either. The employees who use the technology most will know the most about how it meets worker and customer needs.
These are hardly the only areas of your business that can benefit from long-term thinking and investment. Biting the bullet and making what may seem to be a high initial outlay may be painful and seem counterintuitive, especially if your business is just getting off the ground. But planning, and spending, for the cost of your capital investments over time can save you time, trouble, and, ultimately, very significant amounts of money.