3 Best Investments to Grow Your Business
I always thought “investing” was a scary word. Every time I would hear the word, I immediately thought of Wall Street, Shark Tank, and things of that nature. In my world, investment was always synonymous with the negative connotation of risk. Instead of seeing an investment as the expectation of growth, I saw it as an expectation of loss.
For me, I didn’t see investing as a growth opportunity, and that was largely due to seeing other people’s investments gone sour. I’m sure we’ve all heard our shares of tanked investments — courses that were an amalgamation of articles found on Google, coaches who didn’t turn out to be actual coaches or programs that didn’t bring any results. The truth is, investing can be risky business, but it’s all about truly understanding its importance and knowing the when and how of doing it.
When you are thinking about making a business investment, it’s important to understand the difference between an expense and an investment. By definition, an expense is an outflow of money, a drain on your resources, or a cost that doesn’t pay for itself. An investment, on the other hand, is the spending of money with expectations of a return or growth.
The problem that most people have with investing is that they don’t understand its nature and they lack a strategic plan. You have to know the nature of what you’re investing in, and that knowledge comes when you have a plan. When you have a business development plan or a strategic plan in place for growing your business, you will know the type of investments that you need to make in order to grow your business.
For example, when I was serious about transitioning my blog to a business, I knew that instead of focusing on social media followers, I needed to focus on building a profitable email list. At the time, I had a free MailChimp account, but I knew for the growth I expected and the scope of work I was doing, I could no longer grow using the free features.
I knew that if I was going to start treating my business as such, I was going to have start investing in the systems and tools that would help me grow. Therefore, I made my first big investment in Leadpages and my current email marketing system, Active Campaign. My overall investment was close to $400 and although I didn’t necessarily have the money or could technically “afford” it, I knew that for my goals and expectations of growth I couldn’t afford not to have it.
And based on my strategic plan, I was right. A month after I had invested in Leadpages, my email list doubled and I started leading people down my sales funnel to book my first few coaching clients. That first leap of faith showed me the power of investing. Since then, I’ve invested thousands of dollars into cultivating my skills as a coach, and I just made another huge investment in hiring my first business coach.
Was I nervous? Of course! Did I have my concerns? You bet! But I knew that in order to take my God-given business to the next level, the reward of investing would be so much greater than the risk.
So before I invested, I asked the right questions, counted the costs, and made preparations to ensure that I was making the right investments.
Maybe you’re in a place, where you’re considering making investments toward growing your business. Here’s how you can get started.
If you’re unable to financially invest in your business, the best resource you can invest is your time. I remember when I was first getting started, I heard another coach say, “If you can’t afford to make a financial investment, the least you can invest is your time.”
When you’re just getting started, investing your time shows that you have skin in the game. You may not have the financial resources, but you’re dedicated to doing all that you can to personally grow your business. In this stage, you are investing your time in learning, growing, and developing your business.
A lot of the time, we have resources that are readily available to us to grow our business, we just aren’t using them. So what if you can’t afford to invest in that Canon 6D right now? Use your iPhone camera. Do you have a friend who is a photographer? Consider bartering your services with her.
One of the best types of investments is learning how to be resourceful and use what is already at your disposal. Ask yourself, “What resources do I have on hand that I can invest back into my business?”
If you’re at the point where you have used all of your time and resources, you’ve DIY’d as much as possible and you’ve seen a lack of progress or a plateau in growth, or maybe you just want to forgo the season of trial and error altogether, it is time to put your money where your mouth is and invest. That means buying the books, investing in the tools, and hiring the coach or help that will grow your business to the next level.
The best use of your money will always be investing it in the tools and people that will compensate for your weaknesses or lack of knowledge. Of course, you can always start off small here but don’t be afraid to invest the dollars needed to accelerate your growth.
The truth of the matter is that if you want to see your business grow, you’re going to have to become comfortable with investing on some level, whether it’s your time, resources, or money. And if you’re not ready to invest, get real with yourself and ask yourself, “Is this business something that I really want to pursue?”
A huge part of going into business involves counting the costs-- realistically and honestly assessing the amount of work and investment that goes into a growing a purposeful and profitable business. Yes, there is a risk, but the reward is so much greater to those who are expectant and ready for growth.