As a business owner, it is crucial to review your expenses and plan accordingly for your goals. Even if you use a Fiscal Year calendar, January 1 is still the perfect time to assure you are planning to get the biggest bang for your buck in 2019. As you sit down and strategize about your financial expenditures, don’t forget about these important (but often overlooked) expenses to plan for in the new year.

Employee Education
Educated employees are empowered employees, and tend to stay longer with an organization due to their vested interest. Allocate funds this year to devote to continuing education opportunities for staff members. Send your assistant to a social media conference or your marketing staff to a leadership class. To make sure you are using your funds, encourage staff members to request full or partial funds to participate in conferences, classes, or other opportunities in the area.

Leadership Consulting
Even the best leaders can afford to take time to get better. Allocate funds to give yourself, and your leadership team, the chance to work with a leadership or organizational consultant. You can schedule a day retreat or a series of meetings to review how to be a better leader.

Product Photos
Your products are the key to your business, and if you are working with outdated or poor quality photographs, you are not engaging customers online or off. Getting new product photos at least yearly is best practice for most small or medium sized businesses, while large organizations often require new photos more often.

Branding Review
Finally, if you haven’t worked with a graphic designer to review your current business branding in the past five years, it is time to make it happen this year. Your branding colors and graphics should be modern and reflect your business personality. You’ll be surprised at what a facelift a new brand graphic or tagline can give to your entire marketing presence.

This year, commit to making funds available that will invest in your business. Education, consulting, branding assistance, and product photos are sure to give you a big return on your investment. Here’s to a successful 2019!