According to USA Today, the average 2014 tax refund will be more than $3,000. It’s tempting to use that money to take your family on a nice vacation, splurge on those designer duds you’ve been eyeing, or on some other guilty pleasure. But what if you took that money and invested it into your business?
Now, I’m not talking about simply transferring your refund money from your personal bank account to your business account. Rather, use it to tackle a specific project or idea that’s been on the back burner for lack of funds, but you know will benefit your business in the long run. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Are you one of those business owners that is good at working in your business, but not necessarily on your business? Or maybe you just need an outside perspective that can look at how you are running your business and offer suggestions for improvement. Business coaching is one of those things that never seems to make it into the annual budget, but using some or all of your tax return to fund it could be an investment that provides a good return.
If your website is out of date, not functioning properly or just not representing your business well, this might be a good time for a makeover. Who knows how much business you’ve already lost by having a poor website or one that isn’t optimized for mobile devices? A makeover could be just the thing your business needs to breathe some new life into it.
Some business owners hesitate to spend too much money on employee training, and use the popular “What if I train them and they go?” line of thinking, when they should be thinking “What if I don’t train them and they stay?” Investing in your employees will benefit your business in many ways. Not only will they be better at their particular jobs, but it has been shown that trained employees are more loyal—staying longer at their jobs—and are more satisfied in their work.
Making “green” improvements to your business can be costly upfront, but could save you money down the road. Consider changing the lighting in your office or store to more energy efficient light bulbs. Install a programmable or learning thermostat like the Nest. Have any air leaks around windows and doors sealed. Or add extra insulation if your building could benefit from it.
Advertising and Marketing
If you’re caught in the vicious cycle of not having enough money to spend on advertising and marketing, but as a result, don’t bring in as much business as you could, so then your really don’t have the money to spend on any advertising and marketing, consider using your tax return to get your marketing plan going. Don’t have a marketing plan? Hire a marketing consultant to put together a plan for your business that you could then implement in-house.
All of the Above?
Perhaps more than one or two of these suggestions sound like things that could benefit your business, and your personal tax return won’t cover everything you want to do. Consider stretching your funds by applying for a working capital line of credit from a company like Kabbage. The money from the line of credit can be accessed at any time and used for anything business related.
What are some back-burner business plans you have?