You’ve no doubt heard the expression that “it takes money to make money”. In running a business, this is almost always true. Starting and running a business requires capital. There are fees that to file paperwork for a business license, office space and equipment to set up, and business cards to buy at the very least. But once the start up costs are covered, it’s important to keep making investments in order to grow.
Risks can be Scary
Entrepreneurs are known as being risk takers, it is most definitely a leap of faith that business owners take when they commit to creating a business. Most businesses fail within five years of starting up, so it’s an expensive gamble when starting a business, not to mention continuing to invest in the company even whether or not profits are plentiful.
It’s a paradox that the more professional and successful a business appears to be, the more successful they often are. People always judge a book by the cover, and the same principles apply when doing business. Clients want to feel confident that the company they hire is going to still be in business the following month. It’s like the saying, “fake it ’til you make it!”
Investments need Maintenance
There is a particular house in my neighborhood that I often pass when walking my dog. The front lawn of this home is brown and patchy looking, the weeds have overgrown, the paint on their front door and trim is faded and the landscaping is unkempt. My husband said that he suspects that the house is in foreclosure and a “For Sale” sign will appear any day. All the signs are there that this might be the case.
We see this with businesses as well when things don’t look as they should. The website might be outdated in appearance, or the blog might be stagnant and hasn’t been touched in months or longer. Or possibly it’s hosted by a free hosting site and loads very slowly, or is impossible to find in the search engines. None of these examples leave a good impression on a potential client.
Don’t we wonder how successful a business can be when they’re a one-woman-show and calls or emails aren’t returned for days or longer, or nobody answers the phone? And if service is shoddy and materials are non-existent or sloppy, it’s hard not to assume the worst. . . .
Don’t let this happen to your business! Even when finances are tight, there are three crucial places to invest in your business in order to look professional and profitable that won’t break the bank.
1. Yourself: Investing in yourself if always the best investment you can make. By taking continuing education in your field of expertise, and learning new information, your qualifications are expanded. A more qualified professional can charge more than their colleagues who haven’t continued their education.
Business coaching is almost always a smart investment when you hire a reputable coach who will hold you accountable to moving your business forward. A survey in Manchester printed in 2001 by the Denver Post showed that nine in ten executives believe business coaching was well worth their time and money, and the ROI was more than $5 for each $1 spent.
2. Marketing materials: It’s important to have professional marketing materials that represent your company and can be utilized as leave~behinds, hand outs, and mailings. Corporate clients usually will ask for a mailed package of information before meeting with a business owner in person. A professional website is also crucial as 97% of people first research buying decisions online according to a study done by RainToday.com in January 2010. Professionally made websites that are search engine optimized should pay for themselves in less than a year, and marketing materials can be created very reasonably through sites like VistaPrint.com.
3. An assistant: The only way to double production is by delegating responsibilities. Many health and wellness practitioners believe they can’t afford an assistant, yet the truth is that they can’t afford not to. Even if you can only afford to start with one or two days a week, what would additional help six to eight hours a week do for your business? An efficient assistant could do a lot of paperwork, client care and marketing tasks in thirty hours a month. Look into hiring an intern who will work for free for work experience, or hire a college student for a reasonable hourly wage.
Consider how much of an investment you’ve given to these three areas so far this year, and if necessary, commit to investing in each of these three areas of your business. Then evaluate your ROI to determine how much more of an investment you need to make going forward.
I’d love for you to leave me a comment below. In return, you will automatically receive a follow link with the title of your last blog post. What are your thoughts on this topic?