1. Online bookings: Smarter systems

You’re spending more time in your B&B taking bookings and chasing payments than ensuring your visitors have a comfortable stay. Invest in an online booking and payment solution that’s more convenient for your customers, saves you time and cuts down on cancellations and bad debts.

2. Website: Up your online game

You’ve built up a catering business based on word of mouth, but you still haven’t updated your website. Bite the bullet and invest in some professional help. Once it’s up and running you can start the next phase of growing your business.

Prospa tip: Look for a web developer and copywriter with search engine optimisation (SEO) smarts to improve your chances of getting found in Google by the right people at the right time.

3. Customer experience: Get app happy

Market research for your flower and gift shop shows you have a high customer satisfaction rating. However, customers are also frustrated by how long it takes to order. Don’t get left behind in the digital revolution – invest in an app for one-touch orders.

Prospa tip: Start simple and gradually add app features your customers want.

4. Accounting: Smart finances

Investing in a good accountant who understands your small business is worth its weight in gold. Smart accountants who know how to maximise deductions and manage cash flow are a big part of a thriving business.

Prospa tip: Choose an accountant with experience in small business clients.

5. Assets: Up your capacity

Your coffee shop is buzzing every morning, but customers are waiting too long. Don’t risk them getting their caffeine hit down the road. Look into buying a bigger coffee machine with room for two baristas.

Or if your plumbing apprentice is now fully qualified, invest in a new vehicle and start your dream of having a fleet of vans.

6. Marketing: Get noticed

You’ve invested in a high-end printer for your wedding invitation business – now you just need customers. Spread the word about your new products to your target market. Modern marketing investments can range from Google AdWords to email campaigns. Even old-school letterbox drops can keep your business front of mind.

7. Cash flow boost: Bigger orders for a better deal

You’re consistently selling out of a range of candles you buy wholesale. If you increase your order, an improved wholesale rate can boost your margin. Invest in a three-month trial of the larger wholesale order and see if it’s worth it.

8. Professional development: Invest in yourself

You’ve grown your team of personal trainers, but people management is more challenging than you expected. Investing in some HR training and business management seminars may be the next step to help you grow.

9. Business insurance: Expect the unexpected

Your events company is starting to style weddings at popular venues. Now’s the time to check your business insurance covers you if anything goes wrong – some of your suppliers may require insurance like public liability.

Prospa tip: It’s much easier to invest in insurance premiums than try to cover a huge unexpected cost that could derail your business.