During this time of year, we think and dream big. We often do this on a personal level. 2016 will be the year that I lose 10 pounds!! Could this be the year that I wake up at five am every day and go to the gym!! Maybe this will be the year I break through and take two vacation spots off of my bucket list!!
Try the same exercise for your business. Dream first, and plan next. If a perfect world would this be the year that you redo your website? Have you always considered adding another salesperson? Is it time for a new location for your business? What do you need to do this year to push your business to the next level?
I can't imagine there is an entrepreneur out there who doesn't have a dream or an aspiration for their business. But before you get sticker shock at the price tag, there might be creative ways to pay for it.
On the one side of the ledger is the anticipated revenue from your plan. How much money can you expect to make, and over what period? Will this investment increase your sales and or your margins? How confident are you in your assumptions?
Once you've got a good revenue side for your plan--what are the alternatives to paying for it--and what is the most conservative way to do it. Can you get terms from your suppliers? Can you get guaranteed orders from customers? Can you do the project in stages to defray your expenses?
Perhaps you should consider financing your investment as well. Recently a client came to our loan brokerage firm looking for $100,000 to upgrade their web presence. They had the cash to do it but were scared to make the investment in one hit. In this case, the client was lucky enough to get an SBA loan, and they had up to 10 years to pay for their investment at a low-interest rate with no pre-payment penalty.
There is an old saying "where this is a will there is a way". In business, "if there is a sound strategy there is usually a sound way to pay for it." Use this time of year to think, explore, and push your boundaries.