With every day that passes, you are making decisions about your business. Whether you are choosing business cards and opting for the latest software, or deciding to focus on marketing or further education, you are making decisions that will affect your business. But with only a few windows of activity available to you each day – are you putting your needs before your wants… or are you letting your wants take priority?

It’s important – especially when first starting out – to understand the difference between a basic business need and a want… as well as learning to prioritise the needs, to ensure business success.

Needs versus wants

A need is something you have to have… simply put, a need is a requirement. Business cards, office equipment and a follow up system are all needs, as they’re essential for your business success.

Depending on the type of business you have, continued education, legal help and association membership may also constitute a need.

A want, on the other hand, is a luxury – something you aspire to have. The latest technology, expensive advertising and a nice website all fall under a business want.

Understand your unique needs and wants

Make a list of everything you consider important for your business, then establish whether they are really needs… or things you would like to have. Go through your list and ask yourself what purpose this item serves.

You may like to have staff to help you with your filing or to reply to your emails, but does your business warrant it at the moment – or is it something that is a future need – once your customer influx is larger?

Re-evaluate your current situation

This is something that you will want to schedule in on a regular basis. As well as confirming your current needs and wants, it also serves to establish if there’s any way you can decrease your expenditure. By cutting back on the non-essential wants, you are then able to divert the savings into more of your business needs.

Strike a balance

Now you’ve established the difference between your business needs and wants; it’s time to strike a balance that is good for you. Ensure your primary focus is on what really will improve your business efficiency, effectiveness and bottom line… but also allow yourself a couple of wants too. This will help to keep you motivated and focused on your business future, whilst ensuring that your basic business needs are covered.

Understanding the difference between a business need and want, assessing your current situation and knowing what you want in the future, will allow you to make conscious decisions for your expenditure… and will help you establish what you NEED to do today.

What is your number one need for your business… and what strategy do you use to balance your needs and wants? Why not share your strategies by leaving a comment below?

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