When does a startup become a fully-fledged business? If you’re like many entrepreneurs around the world, then that occurs when you have to make an all-important decision: how do you expand? It doesn’t matter if you’re selling fresh doughnuts from the back of a van or designing logos and banners for high-profile clients, you graduate from being a startup when you’re presented with a choice on how to grow your brand.
But there are many paths that your business can take. Do you take production into your own hands and start a factory? Do you expand into the global market? Do you take on more competition by encroaching on another company’s territory? While these are all very expensive and challenging goals, some of them are more productive and beneficial to your company than others. Here are a few examples of the most worthwhile investments for your growing startup.
Accounts and Lawyers
Maybe you’re completely capable of doing the finances on your own, but is it really worth your time and effort? Accountants will negate all the tough work involved in sorting out taxes and managing your budget. They’ll be your advisors, offering you expert advice on how to efficiently operate your business.
Lawyers are also mandatory when your business starts to grow. As you gain more attention, more imitators will pop up trying to seize and opportunity in stealing your customers, and the only way to swat them away is to hire lawyers that are capable of shutting down copycats.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you have no audience to buy your products or services. The goal is to make sure your customers feel valued. Send them emails celebrating their purchase, give them messages on their birthdate, send them exclusive deals and provide the best customer service that the world has ever seen.
Don’t outsource your customer service to a cheap third-party company that doesn’t understand your product or your customers. Invest in proper in-house customer service where you customers can speak to real, knowledgeable people that can help them with their issues and queries.
Production doesn’t have to mean an entire factory or production line. While it’s a good investment if you’re doing particularly well in your industry, it’s simply far too expensive for a budding startup to think about.
However, there are times when a couple of specialized machines can save you money in the final production process. Let’s take 3D printing for example. There’s no getting around the cost of having your products made, but do you also need to request for them to be painted and finished as well? Absolutely not.
The raw product can be sent to you and you can invest in something like powder spraying areas to add color and the final touches to a product before it’s packaged and sold.
The cloud is ripe with cheap solutions to your problems. Are you suffering from failing storage hardware that needs to be replaced? Then look to the cloud for an alternate method of storage that can be accessed from anywhere. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also safer.
Cloud storage is extremely secure and doesn’t suffer from physical damage like your current storage mediums. You can expand the security services and accessibility by investing more money, and it’s certainly more cost effective and productive than buying physical hardware replacements and hiring an engineer to fix it.