One of the main responsibilities you have as a business owner is managing money. From sending invoices to put money in the bank to keeping your books up to date and tracking a budget, staying on top of your financial to-do list is an important part of making sure your business thrives. Because, in addition to the basics of knowing what money is coming in and going out, it’s also your responsibility to make important financial decisions—like when to bulk up your savings and when it’s time to invest.
Being the CFO for your business can be stressful (especially if you are more creatively inclined) and conversations about investing can feel downright scary but, we’re not talking investment portfolios and trading stocks. We’re talking about the things you need to spend money on as a business owner in order to make your business stronger, more efficient, and grow. So, when you find yourself with money to put back into your business, we wanted to make it easier for you to feel confident about what you are choosing to invest in. What business investments should you make when you have $500, $1,000 or $5,000 on hand? Read on for our recommendations!
There are certain business investments that will help you level up and there are others that are a part of your foundation. So, before we talk about the “nice to haves,” it’s important to talk about the essential expenses of running a business. And, whether you are just starting out and these will be the first investments you make or you have been around a while and happened to have looked these over, here are 8 things that every wedding business owner needs to invest in.
A registered business entity with your state | This refers to the type of organization you are setting up (sole proprietor, limited liability company, s-corporation, etc.) and it is important to do this in order to separate personal and professional liability as well as to get a tax identification number for your business.
A business license | States, cities, and counties require different types of licenses in order for you to legally provide services and/or sell goods. Be sure to check with each to make sure you have what you need at every level.
Business insurance | Different wedding pros need different types of insurance but general liability insurance is the first you should look into. And, if you have employees (as opposed to contractors), you will need to have insurances like workman’s compensation and unemployment insurance.
A contract | Making sure that you have a contract signed with every client who hires you is a must (maybe we should have put this at the top of the list!). In addition, it is important to sign contracts with anyone who you bring on to work with you and/or on behalf of your business. You can hire a lawyer to write a custom contract for you or purchase a contract template to customize.
A website and domain | Building your business on social media is great but you need to have your own website and domain to point potential clients back to.
A professional email address |Even though you can start a free email account on Gmail that looks like email@example.com, it is far more professional to pay for one that is firstname.lastname@example.org.
A marketing and advertising plan | Making sure that you put your business in front of potential clients from day 1 requires a plan. You don’t have to start with anything complicated but mapping out what you are going to do to market your business in addition to building a Storefront on The Knot and WeddingWire are great ways to start advertising that you are taking clients.
When you have $500 to invest in your business
Investing in your business isn’t something you have to wait years to do—if you have $500, you can absolutely make an impact on your business with it! And, regardless if it is the first $500 you put back into your business or the tenth, here are ways you can spend that money in a way that makes your business run more efficiently, gives you additional tools to work with, and invests in your growth as a business owner:
Accounting software | Having a clean bookkeeping system is essential for business owners, especially if you are doing it yourself. Trust us, you’ll be thankful you signed up for this next tax season.
A paid Zoom account | Video conferencing is an essential tool nowadays but sometimes you cannot limit conversations to 40 minutes. Paying for a professional Zoom account ensures that you don’t ever have to rush clients through a meeting.
An hour of consulting in an area you want to grow in | Investing in your professional growth is never a bad way to spend money. And, if there is a specific area you are wanting to grow in, spending the money to work with an expert for an hour or two is a wise way to spend the cash.
When you have $1,000 to invest in your business
One of the things that many weddings pros feel like they can’t afford when they just start out is professional photos. So, if you are in a spot where you have $1,000 to invest in your business, you can help make your business look as professional as possible by investing in:
A professional headshot | You can use a professionally photographed headshot to update multiple pages on your website, profile pictures on social media, your email signature, and more!
A contribution to a styled shoot | Styled shoots cost time and money but if you are in need of photos to update your website or marketing materials with (or to create content for social media), investing some time and money into images is a smart marketing spend.
Pro-tip: Feel like you need to invest in your business now but you don’t have the savings in your business account? Depending on what you need, you can consider investing personal funds into your business, using a business credit card or raising capital from friends or family. Just be sure to consult with either an accounting or legal professional on how to track the funds and set up agreements to make sure you are legally covered.
When you have $5,000 to invest in your business
Getting to the point where you have $5,000 to invest in your business is a milestone of sorts, so—congratulations! And, when you have worked hard to set this amount of money aside, you have the opportunity to make some significant moves. If you have $5,000 to invest in your business, you can look at:
Hiring a CPA | Hate doing taxes? Us too. So, finding and hiring a CPA to do your taxes (and maybe your monthly bookkeeping too), is one of the best investments you can make.
Hiring a copywriter | You likely launched your business with copy that you wrote yourself but, if you have the money to invest, hiring a professional writer who can not only pen website copy for you, but also optimize it for SEO is another marketing expense that can have a tremendous impact on your business.
Putting together a custom brand or styled shoot | Contributing to a styled shoot is a great first step but sometimes investing in one that is tailored to your brand is the investment you need to make.
Investing in your education | Been eyeing an online course or conference? Don’t even think twice about investing in your education if it is going to help you continue to grow your business and save money for your next investment!
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