It’s tax season! After almost a year of scrimping and saving while working at your 9-to-5 job and spending nights and weekends on your side hustle, you’re ready to become your own boss. However, you don’t want to spend your entire savings on launching your business.
Good thing it’s tax time. Be smart and invest your tax return if you’re due for a nice refund. Just don’t fall for the temptation of short-term perks — make sure you focus on long-term strategic decisions when spending your money. Tax time goes a little differently for full-time indys, so investing is a strong choice.
You don’t need those new shoes for a meeting with a potential client or a fancy dinner that’ll disappear as soon as you finish eating it. Here are some ideas to invest your tax return that will help you with your launch and sustained business growth.
Develop Your Website
A website is a necessary business tool with a large price tag if you want to get it done by a professional. In some new businesses, it’s important to bootstrap and DIY, but if you have a chunk of change available (like a tax return), hire a pro to do the job for you. By outsourcing this task, you know you’ll be satisfied with the final product. Plus, you can spend all the time you would’ve spent piecing together a site on building your business in other ways.
Now, if you already own a website, don’t think you’re in the clear and can spend your money elsewhere. Websites need updating—both on the overall look and on the back end. A professional will help you determine what’s working and what needs addressing. Bonus: They can do the tweaking for you.
Update Your Branding
A well-developed brand will shine the spotlight on you and leave your competitors in the dark. So much goes into branding that you could sink your entire refund into building a brand, but you should start with your logo. Hire a graphic designer who will work with you to create a design that’s recognizable and can grow with your business. Don’t cut corners or hire someone just because they offer cheap prices.
Once you get the logo out of the way, you can invest your tax return into your new business branding in other ways. Think about all the paper products you may need, like business cards or stationary. Hire a photographer for head shots or a professional branding shoot. Connect with a writer to jazz up your website copy and any of your advertisements.
Attend a Conference
Want to learn the basics of starting a business without going back to school to get an MBA? Looking to keep up with industry trends? Conferences help new entrepreneurs learn, network and grow in their roles. Think about it — where else can you gain an immense amount of knowledge in one place and over just a few short days (or less!)?
There’s a lot to consider before booking, so make sure the conference isn’t during your busy season and that travel to and from the event doesn’t cost more than you can afford to spend.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
You might think hiring someone to help you isn’t a smart move for a new business owner. News flash: You’re wrong. A virtual assistant can take over small, tedious tasks, so you can focus on the things that make you money. Pass off email communications and other easy-to-delegate items to a virtual assistant who works with you for a temporary time or on a longer-term retainer.
These are just a few of the many ways you can invest your tax return. How will you spend your money? Whatever you do, remember to spend it in ways that will benefit you both now and in the long term.