As small business owners, we all have things we would love to purchase for our businesses ‘if we could’. But often we find ourselves holding back. Saying things like “I’ll do it when I’ve achieved X,Y,Z”, or quite simply “I can’t afford it right now”. And we get that – when you run a small business, especially as a sole trader, your first instinct is to watch those pennies (and pounds!). But in this particular blog we’re all about the counter-argument. Why should you actually invest in your business?
How should you invest in your business?
Before we answer the why question, we first need to consider the how. Everyone’s potential investment will be different, and very much dependent on the nature of their business, plus their own skills, commitments and resources. That said, examples might include:
- outsourcing a particular task eg. social media, copywriting or administrative tasks
- purchasing upgraded equipment
- working with a business coach or mentor
Then in terms of the delivery of the investment, you might choose to have a professional complete a particular task for you, such as the design of your branding. Or you might choose to work with an external person or agency on a longer term basis. Like an accountant, VA or social media professional.
But whatever you choose to invest, with whom or on what, the end result should be that your business is ‘further forward’ than it would have been, had you chosen not to invest.
But why should you invest?
Well, this point basically comes back to the point above about doing things to enable your business to make positive progress. And some times this means spending money, knowing that you will reap the rewards (and the ROI) in the longer term, rather than keeping your bank balance above a certain figure. Taking the examples above:
Outsourcing is a great option for investment if you want to free up time for yourself. For example, imagine you spend hours creating and then scheduling your social media posts. It’s a task that you really dislike and/or find yourself procrastinating over. You could choose to outsource it to a professional! The result? Your business gets a dedicated, high quality resource to manage and develop your social footprint (which hopefully will result in a stronger profile and more sales), and you, as the owner, get those hours back to be spent on other things!
Purchasing upgraded equipment
This is an obvious one, but one that can make a huge different to your business. Put simply, upgraded equipment can result in a better quality product. Paying that little bit more for raw materials can enhance your customer experience. There may be, for example, a sustainability angle to your business, and investing in that can enhance your reputation. A better laptop and software can make your business more efficient. You get the idea!
Working with a business coach
When you choose to work with a business coach, you choose to invest in your mindset, knowledge and your approach. In a nutshell, you choose to invest in yourself as the owner of your business. By doing so, you equip yourself with the tools you need to take your business to the next level. Whether you choose to work with us or another coach or mentor, this particular investment can be transformational across your business. In our coaching programme, for example, we work with clients on a huge range of topics ranging from pricing, to confidence, to business strategy, to competitor analysis!
So when should you invest?
Deciding to invest in your business isn’t a quick decision, or one that you should take on a whim. Instead, there are a few things you should think about, each time you’re considering making any level of investment:
- Goals – what is the ultimate goal of making the investment? This big goal should drive the finer details of the investment itself. Then when you do proceed, you can do so knowing that it will hopefully take you in the direction you’re looking for.
- Crunch the numbers – Knowing your numbers is a crucial part of knowing when to invest in your business, and in what. For example, if you decide to outsource your social media, what return can you expect from both the work and the time saved, and by when? Likewise if you invested in a smart new piece of kit, when can you expect it to pay for itself?
- Research – Before committing any level of significant investment in your business (the definition of ‘significant’ of course being down to you!), do your research. How do you know that the product or service that you’re investing in is going to lead to the outcomes that you want? And remember – the cheapest option is not necessarily the one that’s going to deliver results.
As a final note, don’t forget that your time, as the business owner, is incredibly valuable. This is something that we have a tendency to forget. Investing in your business allows you to do things bigger, better and more efficiently. Most importantly, it should free up time to allow you to focus on the things you want to be doing!
We invite you then, to think about your pain points. Work out the areas that would benefit from investment. Remember though, that while there might be some level of (short-term) financial pain, keep your eyes on what that investment could lead to in the long run. If you’re not sure where to focus your energies and your finances, get in touch with us. Let’s chat about how we can help your business to grow! And if you’re new to the world of small business, check out our Definitive Guide.