ROI: A comprehensive guide for SMEs

Understanding return on investment (ROI), is crucial for any small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) aiming to make informed financial and strategic decisions.

SMEs with strong grasp of ROI can evaluate the success of past investments and successfully plan for future ventures.

In this blog we discuss what ROI is, how you can calculate it, and why it matters so much for your business.

What is ROI?

In simple terms, ROI is a measure that helps you understand how much you’ve gained in relation to what you’ve spent.

It is often expressed as a percentage, and the higher the percentage, the more successful the investment.

In other words, ROI helps you assess whether the money you’ve put into a project, equipment, or any other business activity was worth the expense.

Basic ROI calculation (without using complicated formulas)

Although ROI is usually calculated using specific formulas – that are best discussed with an experienced financial professional – you don’t need them to grasp the concept.

To find the ROI for a particular investment, you first need to identify the net profit earned from that investment.

You get the net profit by subtracting any costs or expenses related to the investment from the total amount it has earned or saved your business.

Once you have the net profit, you simply compare it to the initial amount you invested.

If the net profit is significantly higher than the initial investment, that usually indicates a strong ROI.

To get a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of your ROI, speak to your accountant.

Advanced considerations

While a basic understanding of ROI serves well for straightforward investments, certain complexities might require more nuanced approaches.

For example, if an investment takes multiple years before yielding a return, the concept of the ‘time value of money’ comes into play.

Essentially, a pound today is worth more than a pound a year from now because of factors like inflation and the returns you could have earned by investing that pound elsewhere.

Again, these advanced considerations are best discussed with qualified financial professionals who are experienced in performing these complicated calculations.

Practical applications for SMEs

ROI is an incredibly versatile tool for business decision-making. Here’s how you can apply it in your SME:

Understanding ROI can arm you with one of the most effective tools for making sound financial decisions.

It enables you to quantify what you’re gaining compared to what you’ve spent, making it invaluable for any SME looking to grow and succeed in a competitive market.

Having said that, the calculations are complicated and getting an accurate ROI figure is always more useful than a rough estimate.

If you want to calculate a more accurate ROI figure, speak to one of our experts.

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