Small business loans are a powerful resource to support your business growth. If used properly, it can help you improve your revenue and productivity. Because you can use your small business loans in Canada for pretty much anything that would benefit your business, it can be hard to pinpoint efficient ways to invest your money.
In this article, we focus on five reliable ways to use your business loans. These investments are proven to work if made properly. Check our list below and boost your business growth to the next level.
Buy new equipment
One of the main reasons to get small business loans in Canada is to buy new equipment. Whether you own a restaurant, a retail store, or an auto shop, new equipment can highly impact productivity and customer experience.
But let’s be honest, buying new equipment is expensive. There’s no way around it. That’s why you need to ask yourself: “What is this investment going to do for me?”. For example, if buying new kitchen appliances will improve the speed of cooking and as a result, you can serve customers 25% faster, this sounds like a good investment.
Anyhow, whether your answer focuses on increasing your productivity or improving your customers’ experience, you’re on your way to success.
Increase your productivity
For small businesses in Canada, increasing productivity is always a priority. As a business owner, you have so much to do and so little time. That means that every opportunity to increase productivity has to be considered.
Buying new equipment just happened to be a proven way to improve productivity. We give you some examples:
- Restaurant: Replace your old kitchen appliances for more efficient ones. Bigger fridge, additional ovens, or larger grills, you can make operations faster with more capacity and a smoother process.
- Coffee Shop: Purchasing new coffee equipment can lead to improved productivity. For example, you can get a new machine that can make more coffee per hour, or a new coffee grinder to offer the freshest cups of coffee.
- Small Business: Invest in a more efficient Point Of Sale (POS) system. Whether it’s to replace outdated/less performing devices or add more POS to make transactions easier and faster for customers, you will definitely improve your efficiency.
The possibilities of improving your productivity by purchasing new equipment are infinite. However, it’s important that you evaluate the potential ROI before making any investment.
Improve the customer experience
Most of the time, increased productivity will lead to improved customer experience. Simply because speed plays a major role in a positive customer experience. In fact, it’s one of the four main criteria that makes for a good experience according to a PWC report. The other three being Convenience, Consistency, and Friendliness.
In addition, new equipment can also mean new furniture for your restaurant’s dining area, new pastry display for your bakery, or new decoration for your retail store. This way, you can aim to improve two of the other criteria, Convenience and Consistency, by offering an easy to navigate, on-brand environment.
This leaves the last one (Friendliness) to you and your staff! Hiring new/experimented employees or giving an appropriate training to your current staff are options, but more on that later.
Now that you upgraded your equipment and increased both your productivity and customers’ experience, it’s time to invest in marketing.
Invest in marketing
Using your small business financing to invest in marketing is a reliable way to boost your activity. But when it comes to marketing, the possibilities are truly infinite. That’s why we’re going to focus on online marketing, which provides valuable metrics, allowing to easily calculate your Return Of Investment.
Whether you want to make your business better known, or support the launch of a new product or offer, investing your small business loan in marketing can drive meaningful ROI.
Start a paid campaign on social media
In today’s world, it’s a well-known fact. If you own a small business, you should be on social media. No matter what’s your activity, there’s a social media platform out there for you.
You have a restaurant that only serve organic food? Join or create a Facebook group to talk about this topic.
You have very generous and good looking meals? Post your pictures on Instagram, or on the extremely popular subreddit FoodPorn.
Your product or offer is targeted toward professionals? Develop your presence on LinkedIn.
The good news is, developing your business presence on social media is free. But all the platforms mentioned above also offer paid advertising. For example, you can run paid campaigns to promote your business, or a product on Facebook. It allows your to put your message right in front of the eyes of people who are most likely to buy your product/service.
How? Because Facebook offers an extremely complete and precise targeting tool that let you choose who’s going to see your ad. You can select various criteria such as interests, jobs, age, location, and more. So, if you need to promote your cruelty-free restaurant to vegans between 25-35 in the Vancouver area, a paid social media campaign is what you need.
Yes, social media are an extremely powerful and cost effective solution. But there’s more you can do with your small business loans to get your name out there.
Launch a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign on Google
Did you ever dream of having your small business appear as the first result of Google? Well, it takes a lot of time and good Search Engine Optimization knowledge. But, you can also start a PPC campaign and appear at the top results with the label “Ad”.
You can start campaigns in a few minutes, and have your ad appear just a few hours later. After you defined your campaign’s goal, you will need to select the keywords you want your ad to show for, and write the text.
Once you ad goes live, you can easily track impressions, clicks, and how much you spent for your ad. So, you can make adjustment, change your budget, and even adjust the keywords to optimize your result.
Investing your small business loans in marketing is a reliable way to make the most of your money. There’s definitely a learning curve if you want to master these two options but the results can be highly rewarding.
Purchase your inventory
A reliable way to use your small business loans in Canada is to purchase inventory. This way, you can do two things:
- Cover your current inventory expenses
- Experiment with new products
We’ll dive go into more details about what it means, and how they can benefit your business.
Cover your regular and recurring items
A small business loan or a merchant cash advance are good financing options to cover your inventory expenses. Because most of the time, you need to invest in inventory before actually selling the products, using financing, especially cash advance, is a good way to avoid a lot of hassle.
A merchant cash advance is directly linked to your sales. Meaning that you payback the one-time sum of cash that you received with a percentage of your daily sales. This way, you actually pay back when you start selling your products, bridging the gap between your investment and your revenue.
But more than that, a small business loan in Canada can help you experiment with new products or offers.
Experiment with new products
Experimenting with new products or a new offer can be risky. You have to make an investment before knowing if it’s ever going to work. Using your small business financing can limit some of the risk, especially a merchant cash advance.
Whether you own a retail store and want to experiment with new trends, or a restaurant owner that want to revisit part of its menu, you limit the risk with your small business financing.
For example, if you use your merchant cash advance to invest in new products, you will repay with a percentage of your daily sales. That means that if you new product launch is successful, you will repay faster. On the other hand, if your investment doesn’t have the expected outcome, you will not be crushed by fixed rate, leaving you room to repay with your other, more reliable sales.
Using your small business financing for inventory is a reliable way to use your money. But more than investing in your products, investing in your staff also proves to be efficient.
Invest in your staff
According to PWC very detailed report on customer experience, friendliness is one of the 4 pillars of a good customer experience. The best way to improve this component is to invest in your staff by either training your employees or hiring experimented individuals. To be clear, experimented doesn’t necessarily means decades of experience, but more like someone passionate, and who knows what he’s talking about.
Train you current staff
Investing in human, whether it’s yourself or your staff, is ALWAYS a reliable way to invest your small business loans in Canada. Well trained employees will have all the necessary tools to run your business more smoothly. They can also better serve your customer and in the end, improve the customer experience.
There are many ways you can train your employees. You can use your small business financing for external courses and workshops. But in some cases, where you already have the human resources, you can ask some of your most experimented employees to train others, and share their best practices. You can even come up with some sort of incentive to make the process more interesting.
Training your current staff is a reliable way to improve your customer experience, but you will eventually need more. That’s why you can also use your money to hire new employees.
Hire new employees
As your business grows, you will need bigger staff. There’s no way around it. Small business financing gives you the resources to support your business growth, and hire new employees.
There are important things to consider before making your next hire. Because bad employee attitude is the number one factor that drives people away, make sure the person has the right reactions when dealing with customers. It’s common to use roleplay during job interviews and it’s a powerful way to check people’s behavior.
Another important factor that drives people away is unknowledgeable employees. That’s why you need to check how knowledgeable the person you’re interviewing is. Once again, roleplay is an efficient way to do this, and see how good the person’s going to react, and help customers.
Once again, investing in human is always a good way to spend your small business loans in Canada. Now let’s head to our fifth and final reliable way to make the most of your money.
Make the most of your business space
Your commercial space says a lot about your business. It sends a message to the customers and participate in a positive store experience. That’s why it’s important to keep your business image up to date or move to a new location if you need more space.
Renovate your business place
If you’re looking to modernize your space, you may want to give a little make-over to your current commercial space. You can paint the walls, change the lighting, or adjust your product space and displays. The goal is to create a new atmosphere that will match your brand values.
Keep simplicity in mind and try to make your customer’s experience as enjoyable as possible. That means easy pathing, accessible products, and a comfortable atmosphere.
Sometimes, renovating your current space is not enough and you will need to relocate to a new location to support the growth of your business.
Relocate to a new location
As your business grow, you will inevitably need to move to a new location. Using your small business loans in Canada to cover your investment is a reliable way to use your money.
Apply for business financing
Here you have it, 5 reliable ways to make the most of your small business loans in Canada. Now that you know what to do with your cash, apply for business financing, and get the funds in just a few days.