Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
The early days of a business are very difficult. You’ve got to manage all of your costs properly so you can stay afloat long enough to actually make some sales. But even then, you probably won’t be making enough to cover all of your costs, let alone make some profit. Breaking even and being able to afford all of your running costs is the first hurdle that you’ve got to reach. Beyond that, you’ll actually start making a profit. Getting to this point is a lot harder than people realize and a lot of businesses fail before they even get there.
If you’ve managed to survive long enough to make a profit, you’ve got a whole new set of challenges to deal with. You’ll eventually need to start thinking about growth and future plans for the company but before that, you need to work out what you’re going to do with your profits. Tax is one of your biggest problems here because it can easily take a big chunk out of your profits. Luckily, there are some great tax-efficient ways to extract those profits from the company and put them to good use. These are some of your best options.
Reinvest In The Company
This is one of the best things that you can do with your profits, especially in the early days. Your business is still growing and evolving and you should always be looking for ways that you can improve it. Investing money in the company is a great way to ensure that you continue to make a profit every single month and there are a lot of great ways to do it. If your workload is increasing because you’re making more sales, you might have to take on more staff. You’ll need somewhere to put them all so you should think about investing some of your profits in a larger office. Your office space has a big impact on your employees and a run down, cramped space is going to have a big negative impact on productivity so you should always invest profits in upgrading your workspace.
You can also reinvest some of those profits in new technology that will improve your company. Things like new customer service software will make the customer experience a lot better, which is important in all businesses. Updating your computers is important as well because that kind of technology becomes obsolete every 4 or 5 years or so. If you’re trying to do business on incredibly outdated computers, you’re going to slow things down a lot.
Training is another important way to invest in your company but a lot of businesses don’t understand how vital it is. Obviously, you’re going to train new employees when they join the company but it’s equally important to train your existing staff as well. If you’re investing in new software, for example, you need to train people to use it properly or you won’t see the benefits. Always have good communication with your employees and ask if there is anything that is stopping them from doing their job effectively and build training around those things.
As well as investing in the company itself, you can invest your money outside of the company. This is a good way to bring a little extra money in separate from the company which you can use as emergency funds if the business hits hard times. Having that safety net will really help you out if the company is in danger. There are all sorts of different ways that you can invest your money, some safer than others. If you want a low-risk investment that gives you a regular income, property is your best bet. You can get a fairly cheap property if you’re willing to spend a bit of time doing it up before you rent it out but when you’re already running a business, you probably don’t have the time to do that. You’re probably better off buying built-to-order flats because you’ve got more control over the property and you can move tenants in right away. Property prices are steadily increasing so investing in property is very safe at the minute.
Investing in other businesses is a good option as well. As long as you take the time to choose the right business that is likely to be profitable, you can make some good returns on it. Just make sure that you’re not investing in another business in your own industry because you don’t want to fund another company that is in direct competition with you.
Stocks and bonds are another investment choice but they’re fairly risky. If you get it right, you can get some good returns on those kinds of investments but you could also lose it all. If you are going to invest in stocks and bonds with your business profits, make sure that you only take a small portion and put the rest of it into more secure investments.
Offering your employees a good pension is a great benefit that keeps people motivated and helps you to attract the best talent to your company. But it’s also a great way of using your profits and getting some great tax benefits as well. If you match your employee’s contributions to their pension, you can help them build up a big fund that they can tap into in later life. Those contributions will reduce the overall profit that the company is making on paper and because your corporation tax is calculated based on the profit that you report, you’ll pay a lot less.
Salary And Other Benefits
Pension schemes aren’t the only benefit that you can offer your employees. A lot of people look at benefits over salary when they’re deciding on a job so it’s important that you offer a good package if you want the best talent working for you. Health insurance is a big one because everybody needs it and it’s expensive. If you’re offering great health insurance cover, that will mean a lot to your employees. Happy and healthy employees are also a lot more efficient and productive so it will actually make your company more profitable in the long run.
Company cars are another good benefit that you can offer your employees but you’ve got to have strict guidelines about who gets one. If you start giving them to every single employee, you’re going to be spending way too much money and that will outweigh any tax benefits. It’s best to just offer company cars to people in management positions, for example, so you’re not paying for an entire fleet.
Even though benefits are important, people still care about their salary. If yours isn’t competitive, you’re going to lose your employees. If they can do the same job for a lot more money at another company, they’re going to take that option. Then your best people end up working for your rivals rather than you. People are also more productive if they feel like their work is valued and they’re being rewarded for it properly. Proper motivation is important here but a good salary and a regular pay rise go a long way as well. Finally, having a good salary means that people are less likely to have money related stress. Stress really impacts people’s ability to do their work effectively so reducing that stress by paying people well is in your best interests.
All of these things will reduce the amount of profit that you report at the end of the fiscal year and that means you’re going to pay a lot less money in taxes.