With Christmas right around the corner, excitement fills the air as most of us will be receiving our much-awaited holiday bonus. But before we even think of ways to spend the money—go on a shopping spree like there’s no tomorrow or purchase business class tickets to your dream destination—perhaps we can allot some for a game-changing investment: our very own business.

Whether it’s a new venture, adding up to an existing one or setting up a new franchise, there’s everything to gain when it comes to expanding our business horizon. However, there are important things we should know in order for our investment to go smooth sailing. Consider this as THE guide to ensure that our investment in our business aspirations will not go to waste:

Create a clear business plan

While this should go without saying, before you even invest on a business, make sure that you have goals in mind. Explore the market and try to discover what it is you’re passionate about. Is there a gap in the fashion industry you want to fill in? Are you a foodie with a recipe for mouthwatering ribs? Or do you want to bottle your own craft beer? Think about who the product is for, if there’s a market for it, who your competitors are, and the like.

Studying the business landscape is the best way to go so that you can determine where to position yourself and your business in the market. Also, make sure that you secure all the legal permits in the process.

Have a budget and try to stick to it

In the beginning, it’s quite easy to throw money on a lot of your business needs. You might think that you should allot more budget for your marketing efforts, when in fact your operational department needs more attention. For example, you may not have enough manpower to process orders in a soft opening sale that you promoted.

Be smart and try to come up with a budget plan that you can more or less stick to. Learn to spend when needed and hold back as well. The end goal is always to earn profit that can support you and the growth of your business in the long haul.

Work on your marketing and sales efforts

Get yourself out there! Explore different channels to market your product, whether it’s by word of mouth, digital marketing, or social media. There will be some ways that work better for you, depending on the nature of your business.

You can own a franchise of a salon, which will rely more on word of mouth, flyers, and a traditional marketing setup. You can also use social media to promote it. Don’t be afraid to experiment and test what works and what doesn’t.

Insure your business

That’s right. Whether it’s a side gig or your soon-to-be main source of income, your new business is something that you want to safeguard at all costs. You don’t want to see your shop suffer from a robbery or get totally damaged by a typhoon. In fact, it’s more viable to get an insurance versus the money you could spend should an untoward incident arises. That could translate to savings! While it’s at its most fragile (and even when it has already grown bigger), it’s important for you to protect it from any kind of natural disasters, damage, or other risks.

Nowadays, it’s easy to avail this with insurance providers with an all-around plan like UCPB GEN Fire Insurance. You’ll rest easy knowing that your business is safe from accidental fire damages and injuries incurred.

Interested in learning more? You can contact UCPB GEN in many ways! Fill up the contact form, email at customer_service@ucpbgen.com, or call the hotline (02) 830-600.

The author of this article contributed in their own personal capacity. All data provided here are for informational purposes only. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of UCPB General Insurance Company Inc.