Reward credit cards often offer incentives such as frequent flier miles or points toward gift cards. Small business owners may not intuitively see how to reinvest all of these offers into the company in order to operate and grow the business, but wise management decisions can make the most of these "freebies." With an academic background in business management and some real-world experience in helping consult small businesses, I thoroughly enjoy trying to assist owners in understanding the big picture.
Frequent Flier Miles
Depending on your type of industry, traveling around the country may or may not be a routine aspect of the job. Even small business owners who don't need to travel every month can still use frequent flier miles to attend periodic trade shows and industry conferences to help gain insights and grow the business. Using your credit card's reward system to fund such out-of-the-ordinary expenses is an ideal means of justifying the allocation of company resources.
Even if you have no need for airfare in the proceedings of your business, you may still have an occasional road trip to service a region's worth of sales or to visit a potential list of clients. Reward cards can help you make the most of your trip without sacrificing personal resources on the company outing
You can use hotel rewards when you use your frequent flier miles to attend trade shows, or you can save your lodging discounts for when you need to house a large-scale investor for a midweek trip to check out your operations. Because every small business has a unique set of goals, logistics and clients, only you as the owner will be able to ultimately declare what's in the best interest of your company.
The reward of being able to buy gift cards may not automatically bring "company purchases" to mind based on what stores are on the list to choose from, but you can get creative. If an office supply store is available for selection, you can directly apply that reward to your operations. You can also use grocery and department store gift cards for funding the company party or for giveaways to employees. Recognize what occasional expenses you have throughout the year and plan accordingly.
I recommend taking advantage of cash back programs and using the money received to reinvest in the line item that earned you the incentive in the first place. For example, using your credit card at gas stations, on company phone bills and other eligible transactions is a great way each month to add a little bit of cushion to your assets for those recurring bills and fees.