Running a business comes with a variety of expenses that only arise when business owners decide it’s time to cement their reputations as serious competitors.
These expenses are the keys to legitimizing and maximizing the longevity of an operation, not to mention increasing demand via unconventional or creative means.
Successful businesses tend to allocate an exceeding large amount of money towards one or two investments, though none of them are reserved for a specific type of industry.
Here are six of the most commonly overlooked expenses for all sorts of businesses:
1. WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
Rule No. 1 for businesses in 2016 is a strong online presence. Businesses with basic websites or little social media activity are perceived as ignorant and out-of-touch. Setting up a website is fairly inexpensive but keeping it running requires domain renewal fees, web-hosting fees, and possibly some sort of e-commerce software. Unless you are an expert in web design, you’ve got to hire a developer to make your website attractive and easily navigable as well as a copywriter to create intelligent-sounding text. Significant attention should be devoted to your website’s landing page, or where visitors enter information that converts them to customers.
If your business relies heavily on relationships with clients, it only makes sense to set up an exclusive budget for hospitality. This budget is used for treating clients to dinners, paying for their stays in hotels, or even sending gifts such as the aptly-named “hospitality basket.” It’s safe to say that more than a few major partnerships were secured thanks to the extra effort put into an afternoon meeting at the right spot. Another huge benefit of a hospitality budget is the ability to write-off these expenses from your taxes. Several credit card providers also offer rewards programs in which money borrowed for hospitality-related expenses can be redeemed and spent on things like business trips.
Few companies can survive without a specialist in the latest marketing tools, and by that, we mean digital marketing. Customers aren’t going to naturally come to you. It’s important to dedicate at least a modest budget to attracting business prospects via social media, blog posts, email marketing and SEO. The more online content your website has, the more likely it is to rank highly on a Google search. Paid advertising with the help of Google or Facebook is practically a necessity as well, largely due to the latter option’s ability to find your target audience by discovering the interests, average age, and location of the users that click on your ads.
4. EMPLOYEE PERKS
No, we’re not talking about massage chairs, napping pods and having free food everywhere you turn. But as Google has exemplified, if you want to keep the best talent, you’ve got to show how much you appreciate them. Little perks, like ergonomic seating and Friday afternoon pizza lunches, can go along way. A comfortable environment is crucial for businesses requiring employees to sit in an office all day. Larger perks could range from covering employee commutes to holding regular parties with free food and drinks. The main point of perks is reducing the likelihood of constantly having to find new employees, which is much more expensive than keeping existing employees.
5. TRADE CONFERENCES
Aside from an enjoyable activity for employees, these events are a great way to connect with potential customers and influencers who manipulate public opinion. You can show off your latest product or service and get a clearer picture of the direction your industry is taking. Conferences come with several costs, however, such as tickets, travel, lodging, and meals. Another cost to be factored in is the loss of productivity for the time you and your employees spend at the event. Attending conferences might additionally require you to join an organization by paying hundreds of dollars in membership fees.
Running a business involves equipment, all of which needs to be maintained or replaced on a cyclical basis. Various technological devices, namely computers, begin to lose steam after a number of years. Other pieces of equipment that need to be repaired or replaced after a certain period include uncomfortable furniture, air conditioning, and company vehicles. Some of these items carry annual maintenance fees, which can be very expensive. Business owners should consider whether it’s more cost-efficient to replace items or have them regularly repaired, largely because the second choose often requires the help of specialists with their own fees.
HOW TO COVER THESE EXPENSES
A business that accounts for these expenses is poised to significantly increase output and demand. The ultimate goal for each investment is a boost in revenue that will easily make up for their cost. When viewed as a collective upgrade, these expenses present the perfect opportunity for a small business loan.
United Capital Source has provided hundreds of loans for businesses looking to buy new equipment, take on new hires or launch marketing campaigns. It can take time for these efforts to pay off, which is why the most appropriate loan program could be a merchant cash advance. This program allows you to cover these massive expenses and then pay off the debt when the desired results are attained.
A loan would also be a great decision if you only want to take on one of these expenses at a time, since paying off the debt will make you eligible to take out an even larger loan shortly after.
Small business loans are essential for businesses in need of major upgrades that will open them up to a new level of clientele. If your business has a direct plan for making these changes, call United Capital Source at 855-933-8638 or visit the UCS website. All it takes is a one-page application to chat with a loan expert about crafting a plan that will fully legitimize your company with minimal impact on cash flow.