Finance Insights

How to know if your business needs investment


Running your own business isn’t easy, and many business owners get caught in the trap of working ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ the business.

It may feel natural to put hours of work into your business, but getting caught in the endless day-to-day can prevent the chance for growth. It’s important to recognise when you’ve become overloaded.

So how do you do that exactly? How do you know when you need to start making investment for growth?

The key signs could include:


Missed sales targets

Are you so busy with admin tasks and day-to-day duties that you can’t find time for the most important job of all: chasing down sales?

A little bit of this is normal, but it will mean you’ve got fluctuating sales income and a hard-to-predict future. Being busy is a good thing, but rather than working heaps of overtime – see it as an opportunity for growth. Hire some staff or bring in new sales processes so things don’t get out of hand.


Low ROI marketing

If your marketing spend doesn’t seem to be translating to sales, it may be time to make a change. This is especially true if you’re using traditional channels or trying to do everything yourself. That time could be used better if you invested in proper digital marketing support.


You’re delaying things

You can’t do it all. It’s time to recognise what you’re really good at and start building a team around you to deal with the other stuff. Trying to take on too much responsibility generally leads to things not being done. Working 70-80-hour weeks is not sustainable – so get some help.


Need more space

Work environment starting to feel cramped? This can have a negative influence on everything that happens there – including the quality of work, team morale and practical concerns such as storage. Knowing when it’s time to size-up is important.


Not enough bodies

If you need to start turning down work or are not meeting your normal levels of service, think about expanding the team with more staff. Just make sure you have enough work coming in to justify their contracts.


Falling behind

Outdated tech? Unreliable tools? Time-consuming manual processes? You might find that you need to invest in new systems to keep up with the competition.


The use of debt finance for investment

If you bring in external investors, you’ll need to reduce your share in the company. Debt finance such as term loans or asset finance can help keep you moving forward while spreading the investment cost. For any investment, it’s important to project how this will impact on revenue and profits.

Spotting these needs for investment will help alleviate short term pressures and can be the catalyst for driving the business on to better things.


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