When you hear the word investments, chances are you think of things like stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, and other financial instruments that offer the potential for a positive yield. But anyone who owns a business has an entirely different concept. Entrepreneurs who own companies view an investment as the use of capital to produce higher profits.
That’s a huge expansion of the definition and includes spending the organization’s money on activities like strategic planning, hiring web design experts, enhanced fleet management, worker training, employee benefits packages, customer rewards programs, and more. Here are five things smart owners spend their precious cash reserves on, along with the reason each category is so essential to the long-term health of an ongoing operation, large or small.
Long-Term Strategic Planning
Doing long-term planning is not something most upper-level managers and principals enjoy spending time on. Not only is the process challenging, but most businesses hire outside consultants to help with the task. So, there are two kinds of costs, time and money. However, the ROI (return on investment) for this kind of planning, while hard to measure directly, is usually quite positive. One thing is for certain, and it’s that companies that do not engage in detailed, long-horizon strategizing are in danger of running into a whole host of unexpected problems.
Advanced Fleet Management
It’s not enough to have all your company vehicles connected via phone or radio communication. The entire concept of efficient fleet management involves digital, computer-based systems and programs (usually software) that track, monitor, report, measure, and generally help keep operations running on time and safely. The good news for managers and owners is that it’s relatively simple and extremely cost-effective to use GPS fleet tracking programs to keep tabs on the location of all your rolling assets. One of the key benefits of fleet tracking capabilities is that just knowing where vehicles are located means you can adjust schedules, routes, and amend customer notifications based on a single category of data.
Ongoing Training for Employees & Benefits Packages
Well-compensated workers who are regularly trained tend to be more productive than those who don’t have access to excellent benefits packages and training programs. This category of investment can be costly for an organization, but there’s a direct correlation between success and investing in training and benefits. Workers view ongoing training as a win-win situation because it not only boosts their chances for advancement in their current positions but makes them more attractive to future employers should they decide to switch jobs and get back in the employment market, resumes in hand. Likewise, working people typically look at benefits packages as an alternative form of pay.
Customer Loyalty Rewards
Free samples, discounts for large volumes of purchases, flat percent-off offers on certain goods, longtime customer rewards, seasonal gift certificates, and dozens of other perks handed out to frequent clients are costly but high ROI techniques for maintaining a customer base. As new buyers pass into the long-term category over time, they realize that your organization places a high value on their business and tend to make recurring purchases.