Small businesses don’t have it easy. You need to compete with the big guys to survive, but you simply do not have access to the same resources that your big time competitors do. Operating and marketing effectively on a shoestring budget is not easy. For this reason, making smart investments is critical to your success.

What is a smart investment?

A smart investment is one that pays itself back over time. Seems obvious, right? Still, many small businesses do not plan where they invest their dollars effectively enough, costing them time and money in the long run.

Smart investments do not have to simply be dollars and cents. These investments can also include the time you spend on your business. After all, time is money. Many small businesses do not consider their time an investment, which can also be costly over time.

There are certain investments that your small business will not want to be without that can guarantee success and long-term payback of your time and money. Here are three smart investments that will greatly benefit your small business.

 1. Getting to Know Your Market

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is marketing to a vaguely defined audience without a clear marketing plan. Vague definitions of a demographic lead to weak marketing. When you invest your marketing dollars and only use feeble marketing language and tactics, you lose.

By investing in getting to know your target market inside and out, you can craft powerful messages that resonate with your demographic. Invest the time, and money into truly finding out who it is that your product helps, and you will have the tools you need to strengthen your marketing.

2. Ergonomic Office Furniture

Whether you work out of your home, or have rented an office space, you need furniture to work. While it may be tempting to purchase the least expensive desk, computer and accessories you can, you will pay over time. Investing in ergonomic office furniture actually helps bolster your productivity and help you get more done with less. By using a standing desk, or a treadmill desk, you get energized and focused so that you can get more done. Over time, this investment pays for itself in good health, fewer sick days, and better productivity.

3. Content Marketing

One of the most powerful ways to get your message out to your target audience is through quality content. Content continues to be hailed as ‘King’ in the marketing industry because it is so effective and inexpensive. Instead of traditional marketing that leaves you unsure of who your message will reach, content marketing allows you to target your message to a specific group and draw their interest by speaking to benefits that resonate with their needs. There is a lot of content out there, so to rise above the hum you must invest your time or money in crafting high quality content that will help your business grow.

As a small business, you may be confused about where to spend your hard earned dollars, and which investments will give you the biggest return. When you put your money toward getting to know your demographic, boosting your personal productivity, and marketing more effectively for less, the rest will follow.

What other investments do you consider essential to your small business success?