Like renting an apartment verses owning a home, the difference in costs became clear that we were losing a lot of income with nothing to show for it. Therefore, we began to talk to our financial advisor and with being a woman-owned business, we realized we could apply for an SBA loan.
This was a BIG decision, and yet it was the first time we really began looking at our business strategically. Where are your biggest expenses? What are the best ways to invest in your business?
- One of your biggest expenses is your people/staff/consultants, etc. Carefully selecting the best people to grow and build your business is critical. Initially, customers may only think of you, the owners, as the faces of your business, but eventually you will need others to service and support your clients. As you have built your company's good reputation, it is important that the people on "your team" should also reflect that good reputation.
- Today technology is another huge expense, no matter what type of business you have. To have quality tools and equipment is a necessity. Such things are another big expense, but using quality equipment equates to quality workmanship and outcomes.
- Selecting and using a variety of professional marketing venues helps to spread the word of your business' capabilities. It is important to use a variety of marketing resources as people tend to respond to different types of communication. In addition, the message and image has to be professional and accurately relayed.
- The work environment for your business is also a vital factor in the success of your business. Whether you are meeting clients in your facility, or providing a good work environment for your team, etc., your business space should have a professional image, including quality furnishings, equipment, clean personal spaces, as well as attractive and upbeat décor to stimulate creative thinking and positive attitudes.
In the summer of 2001 our bank, financial advisor, and SBA representative graciously helped us through the process of our office building purchase. As we watched our office building take shape and then got settled, it was exciting and a proud moment to invite our clients, business associates, and vendors to see our new business home.
Now in 2015 we plan to offer our business home to hopefully another credible business owner. As we post the listing, there are mixed emotions. Our industry has changed, which has affected what we need in "business space". Though we ourselves are in the "business of change", it is time to offer this lovely space to others. An office space is quite important to any business, and ours would make a great home for another "professional organization" or possibly make a perfect Executive Suite arrangement. Whoever takes advantage of this attractive building should have many years of positive experiences, including the gorgeous cherry blossoms throughout our business park in the spring.
Take time to look at your business and invest in its future with quality and professionalism. Having a welcoming work environment is a blessing. As you know, you tend to spend a lot of time there.