For any business owner, sustainability and growth are always top of mind. You want to invest in growth while realizing a positive return. As you contemplate your long-term goals, here are the top three investments to consider:

1. Technology infrastructure – It’s important to operate off a scalable technology platform – one that enhances employee performance. Because technology impacts every sector of your business, it’s important that it provides a simple and flexible experience for your team members so that they can maximize efficiency.

Keeping up with cutting edge trends that you can implement first in your industry is a great way for your company to stay ahead of the curve and stand out. Don’t be afraid to take risks!

2. Source reporting (for marketing and referrals) – Proper reporting can help identify the most efficient lead sources that will maximize revenue and eliminate wasteful spending. Aside from an increase in revenue, you’ll learn how to customize your messages for future customers and allow the company to make great investments. This process is completed by trial and error, so during the testing phase it’s important to stay patient and eliminate negative patterns that develop.

3. Culture – As we all know, happy employees are more productive and produce better work. However, reaching this “golden workplace” is easier said than done. It takes time and effort to create positive attitudes in a business environment.

As a leader, I think it’s important to embrace transparency and communicate the company’s vision and values. It’s also imperative to provide a pathway for friendships by creating morale-boosting experiences. It’s those events and activities that plant the seeds of loyalty.

Plus, developing a rich culture from the start will lead to less turnover, which can be expensive—and a burden to other team members. Employees are the gateway to a successful business, so investing in opportunities for their growth and learning is important.

In closing, investments are an everyday necessity. Although there are many other aspects of your company to invest in, using the suggestions above can yield the best results for your business.

David Nilssen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Guidant Financial . A notable thought-leader in the small business industry, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in 2011 and co-authored the book Making the Jump Into Small Business Ownership. Follow him on Twitter at @davidnilssen and @guidant.