Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
As the end of the year approaches, small businesses are tasked with two competing priorities. The first is to make one final push to give your business a strong financial finish. The second, to strategize on how to set your business up for continued success in the new year. To achieve both, you may want to make some smart purchases before the year’s end to both utilize any budgeted dollars and set yourself up for greater success.
In the following guide, we share four things your small business should buy before the end of the year to set those wheels in motion for success in the coming years.
What Small Businesses Should Buy Before the End of the Year
You might be wondering why you should even think about spending unused discretionary funds. After all, wouldn’t they be better sitting on the businesses bottom-line as a profit?
Here are some reasons why you’ll want to use it before the end of the year.
- If your business follows the “use it or lose it” model, then you might not be able to roll those funds over to the new year, essentially wasting the opportunity.
- Rather than inefficiently purchasing new tools or supplies one-by-one as issues arise or needs change, you can do it all at once.
- Using the funds helps with budgeting out next year’s expenses since the payment schedule will become more predictable.
- Spending money on much-needed hardware, software, and other business supplies can help you maximize tax deductions and reduce payouts to the government through Section 179 if you handle them correctly.
No one is saying you need to make extravagant purchases. However, reviewing your data and then investing in hardware, software, and other supplies that will improve those numbers in the coming year is smart for your business. That said, here are the four things every small business owner should buy before year’s end.
How old are the computers in your business? The features and abilities of both desktop and laptop computers change so quickly that it is always good to evaluate the effectiveness of your existing machines.
If you notice your computers are laggy or not operating as efficiently as they should, now is a good time to consider replacing these less effective machines. With holiday sales ripe for the taking, you won’t find a better deal the rest of the year.
- Business Management Software
Many smart businesses run in the cloud. There’s obviously the convenience factor to take into consideration, but there are cost and security factors, as well. If your office is still using older CD-to-desktop software or there are new software programs you’ve wanted to try to make your business more efficient, now is a great time to do that. Not only does it allow you the chance to use any unused budget, but because this time of year can be a bit slower for many businesses, it gives you and your team time to implement and test all new software.
Additionally, if you’re already using cloud-based business management solutions, think about switching from month-to-month payments to a yearly lump-sum payment. Doing this not only allows you to use more of the budget but paying annually often provides additional discounts.
- Business Equipment Upgrades
Have you spoken to your team recently about the status of the business equipment you use? Tapping into their daily insights about the hardware effectiveness and issues can help you make the right decisions when it comes to new equipment purchases or upgrades.
If your employees don’t have insights, look into your data. You may find that certain parts of your business cost more money than you were aware of due to inefficiencies, frequent breakdowns, repairs, and so on. Focus on the equipment that plays the biggest role in your workflow, like routers, printers, mobile devices, etc.
For example, you can find a Xerox printer of multifunction printer with powerful productivity tools like scan to Dropbox, a smartphone-like interface your users will love and that supports mobile printing at a price that won’t break your budget.
Finally, don’t forget to look at opportunities to spend your remaining budget on marketing and sales needs. While you might think people are too busy to notice as they’re out shopping for gifts, shuttling kids around to school events, and getting ready to take time off, that doesn’t mean that consumer spending is going to come to a dead halt.
Take advantage of this time of year when customers appreciate your help in making purchases easier, more convenient, and cheaper for them. The best way to do this is to run special sales campaigns targeting social media and Google.
If you’re scared to spend money on your business in Q4, don’t be. As you look to closing the year out strong, making final purchases is a smart move for your business. They’ll help you lower your tax liability while also helping set your business up for greater success in the new year.
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