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Four areas to consider investing in when starting a business

by Ana Lopez
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Hani Anis is the founder of kahani digitala marketing and PR agency and Anis Collections, a luxury fashion brand.

Let’s face it, starting a business is very expensive. Whether you have investors or not, finances are tight when it comes to starting a business, and every penny counts. With my experience of owning two very different companies over the past seven years, I’ve found that there are a few things I’ve always gone back to or revamped because I didn’t invest in them the first time around. The four buckets below I think contributed the most to my success within both companies.

1. Dedicated team members

Investing in other people is something that can seem very daunting when you start your business; however, it has the power to grow your business exponentially from scratch. Now the key is quality over quantity.

I’ve noticed that many entrepreneurs focus on building a large team instead of an efficient team. Having two quality employees getting work done efficiently can have more impact than six mediocre employees. This also makes a huge difference financially. I learned this the hard way with one of my companies.

2. Branding and marketing

I think branding is the most important thing to invest in from the start. At my first company, I went through a rebranding process about four times because I wasn’t sure of my vision from the start. I encourage all business owners to take their time when it comes to branding, name, colors and logo so that you find something you really love and don’t have to quickly put resources back into it. This does not guarantee that you will not need to rebrand at some point in the future, as businesses change and evolve. However, a rebrand shouldn’t happen just because you rushed the first time and didn’t find anything you’re in love with.

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When it comes to marketing and digital presence, would I be in my field if I didn’t talk about this? In all seriousness, marketing can expose your business to audiences you may never have thought you’d reach before. This doesn’t mean you have to be present at every marketing initiative from the start. Choose one to three avenues to start with, establish a strategy that is consistent to work with, then move on to other platforms once you feel stable.

Many founders have an “all or nothing” approach where they feel they have to be everywhere because there are so many possibilities. Today, there are so many types of social media, websites, blogs, video content, and more that it’s almost impossible to post high-performing content on everything unless you have enough resources to devote to it. Instead of going all out to just do it, I’ve found that the better approach is to consistently do one to three things to the best of your ability and resources.

3. Accounting

When we talk about money, we have to talk about an accounting system. Tax Season Your first year of running a small business can be terrifying if you don’t know what to do or look for and if you haven’t cleaned up your books. In my experience, finding a tax advisor who can help you both save money and pay your dues properly really helps in the long run and also relieves the stress of running your day-to-day operations.

4. Legal

Contracts and legal matters are essential to any business because you need to be protected. When starting a business, this is a cost that people often try to save or limit, but ultimately this is a cost that serves as an investment in your future. Investing in good contracts, terms and conditions and other documents ensures that you are protected against any legal battles along the way. If you don’t invest in this in the beginning, you may lose more money later on.

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There is no perfect path for starting a business; each journey is unique, but I’ve found these four pillars to be constant. How much or how little you choose to dive into this is, of course, up to each founder themselves, but keeping these in mind and at least exploring the options you have is key to success.

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