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What small businesses must have. The top six.

Being an intelligent spender is crucial for small business owners. You have to watch every dollar in order to manage cash flow, pay staff (and yourself), and generally stay in business. But being cash-conscious shouldn't mean spending as little as possible on everything.

If you're trying to build a thriving small business, there are some investments that are worth every cent in the long run. Here are six things small business owners should seriously consider:

1. A robust online presence

Setting up social media accounts and a basic website can be cheap — if not completely free — but unless you're a web designer, programmer, content creator, search engine optimiser, and a social media expert, that's not money well saved. According to recent studies, four out of five local searches on mobile devices end in a purchase. And if you want to be found on the internet (the world’s foremost shopfront), you should invest in all aspects of your online presence – from being mobile-friendly to producing high-quality content.

2. Comprehensive insurance

Insurance can feel like a pointless expense during disaster-free times, and many SME owners who haven't suffered a crisis think that skimping on cover is a way to save money. But all it takes is one incident to show the real value of having insurance – opt out of it and you could lose everything. We can help you find an insurance policy that works best for your business, or you could be just one dramatic weather event or accident away from bankruptcy. And Income Protection Insurance, particularly for sole traders, is an absolute must!

3. Continuous marketing

Small business owners should be spending more on marketing and PR, according to ... small business owners. The Alternative Board's Small Business Pulse survey reveals that 20% of entrepreneurs would invest more money in marketing, advertising, and PR if they had a chance to start their businesses again. But your efforts don't have to be extravagant or expensive; even the smallest amount of extra attention for your business will be a good thing.

4. Professional accounting

Saving money by taking care of your business' finances yourself doesn't always result in overall savings. This is not a Peak sales pitch, but a good accountant can find extra cash in many ways: at tax time, through profitable ideas, during cash flow planning, and more. This is simply because we know more about the subject and we stay up-to-date on all of the changes within the financial industry that can affect our clients. Engaging a good accountant will help you save and earn money in the long run.

5. Great employees

Your business is only as good as the people who work for you. That's why you should make sure you hire and retain truly great employees – not just ones that can simply get the job done. It may cost more in salaries and benefits, but the positive effect these employees will have on your business will make the investment worth it.

6. A business credit card

Every business has expenses, large and small. If you can earn rewards for those expenses, all the better. Consider a credit card that you use exclusively for your business – not only can you earn rewards points, but reconciling your business expenses will be so much easier at tax time. Use one of the comparison websites, like www.canstar.com.au to research the best credit card option for your business. Some credit card providers allow you to earn points that can be used for business or personal travel, and also provide access to business tools that can help you better manage your business.

In summary, being thrifty can be a great trait for a small business owner in many areas. But for certain investments, spending more can mean saving more, earning more, and ultimately growing your business.

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