Your business is an investment. No matter what kind of business you’re starting, you’ll need some capital to get it going, and in most cases, you’ll go a period of weeks (or months) without generating any revenue. In fact, the average cost of starting a business from scratch is $30,000—and even though there are some business models that can be started with just a few hundred dollars, it’s still important to pay close attention to where your money is going. How much you spend doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you spend it, so it’s important to optimize your most important business investments.

The Most Important Investments

These are the business investments you should be considering the most:

  1. Your office. First, you need to think about your office. This is where you and your employees will be doing work every day, so it needs to be comfortable, inviting, and professional. It’s also the first impression your clients will get when meeting you, so it needs to be interesting, unique, and polished. It should also be close to other businesses, close to your home, and affordable—which is going to be a hard balance to find. In fact, you might even decide to abandon the office altogether (which is a perfectly valid approach). No matter where you land, this is one of the most important decisions you’ll face.

  2. Your marketing and advertising strategy. Your marketing and advertising strategy is the megaphone that will broadcast your business’s presence and get you your first customers. These tactics will be responsible for generating your first customers and first streams of revenue, and how you spend your money will have a big impact on your success. Invest in carefully chosen and targeted strategies, rather than throwing money at whatever tactics cross your path.

  3. Your PM and PPM software. Next, you’ll need to consider both your project management and project portfolio management software. Project management (PM) allows you to access and control the gritty details of each project, including how tasks are assigned, addressed, and completed. Project portfolio management (PPM), on the other hand, gives you the ability to control which projects you take on, and how you take them on. Meisterplan’s software, for example, allows you to specifically allocate your employees to projects so you can maximize your efficiency and profitability.

  4. Your CRM platform. Next, you’ll need a way to keep track of all your customers, including your existing client relationships and new leads that your sales staff will follow up with. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are designed to make this process easier, allowing your entire staff to upload, manage, and retrieve information from the cloud. SalesForce remains the top name here, in part because of how much customization it offers, but you might find a less expensive platform that still fits your needs.

  5. Your partnerships. Don’t neglect the importance of the partnerships you form—especially in the early stages of your business’s development. Negotiating a longer-term, better-priced deal with a vendor, for example, could end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. And sometimes, paying more is actually better—if it means having reliable delivery and reliable service.

  6. Your sales strategy. You should also spend some time investing in your marketing strategy, buying the tools and equipment your sales staff needs to close sales. Your marketing and advertising team will be able to drum up significant leads, but it takes a salesperson to close those leads and finalize your revenue. Experiment and make sure your sales process is optimized to achieve higher revenue for your organization.

  7. Your staff. Finally, make sure you invest in your people. Your employees will be the ones making your vision a reality, and the success of your enterprise is on their shoulders. Invest in the most talented, experienced, and dedicated people you can, and don’t be afraid to reward them with extra perks—especially when they’ve performed well.

Is Spending More Inherently Better?

In many cases, these “significant” investments will provide the foundation for your business; you’ll want to maximize the value you get out of each one. Because most products, services, and other investments tend to be more expensive when they offer more features (or come from someone with more expertise), you might think that spending more is inherently better in each area. However, this isn’t always the case; spending more will probably get you more features or more perks, but there’s a limit where those perks stop being effective. You need to find the balance for your own business, and spend as much as necessary to get the most valuable perks for your unique needs.