Node, NPM and build tools have been a huge topic lately and it is time to have software that works for you and not against you. Most smaller companies or freelancers can't even afford to pour countless hours into finding out how to set up a build process for their projects. This is what I thought too and what has been my experience before. However, if you get to know the different tools without a project to be at the stake of your success, you can reuse this knowledge to empower your workflow everywhere.
On a personal note: Everybody talks about node and npm and whatnot. For me to get into this topic was very hard with a similar position: Small company - can't afford! But you never want to go back when you save the 2 minutes of manuallly preprocessing your files and reloading your browser about 50 times a day. We don't really want to believe it, but this can gross into much more time that we are actually aware of. Which makes us bear with that delay.
An article to get you started with node and npm already exists on happy-css.
If you are already familiar with node and npm, read on.