I have been thinking a lot about ways to improve my business lately.
We are nearing the end of the year, and on of only two goals for 2016 was Investing.
The investing part included investing in my business and in myself. Since I am also my business, I guess you can split that into three categories:
- Things I do for my business that don’t impact myself. Like hiring a web designer to redo this website.
- Things I do for myself that won’t impact my business. Like exercising.
- Things I do for myself or my business that will impact both. Such as investing in a course to improve my skills or going to a networking event.
All these things have in common that they cost money, and like with any investment, you are looking to make more than you invested initially. And often, it is a combination of factors. For example, I bought a course on blogging, but also read a psychology book on how to build a better rapport with people.
Both offered insight on how to communicate with my audience, clients and sponsors. How much ROI did I get from each? Pretty hard to quantify. Maybe I landed that new client because we were both having a good day, and my new communication skills had nothing to do with it.
Still, I strongly believe investing in yourself and your business is one of the best ways to grow. I was reluctant at first. What? $500 for a course? That’s crazy. These things have paid for themselves in a matter of months. Just like I attended the financial bloggers conference last month and walked out after three days with new clients, better rates, and a ton of ideas to increase my income right away.
When you start your own business, there will be things worth learning, and things better left to the professionals. My accountant pays for himself by saving me hours of tedious reading to make sure I don’t do anything wrong, and by pointing the ways I can reduce my tax bill. That is a no brainer. Consultants like http://www.trevormcclintock.com/ can help give you feedback on your business and help you define your strategy with laser sharp focus which can also save you a ton of time and headaches.
On the other hand, there are things I enjoy doing, that could be cheap to hire out, but I don’t really want to pay for, because they’re fun. I like interacting on social media, and managing my ad campaigns. I think bringing personal attention to readers and companies I work with is a nice touch.
I would hire it out the day I need to clear my schedule. If something more important comes up, and I am no longer able to do it. In the meanwhile, it may be considered a waste of time to some, but I am having fun so I’ll keep with it.
What I struggle the most with though, after proclaiming 2016 the year of investing, is spending some of my personal money on the business. They say you need to spend money to make money, and I totally agree, but it hurts. You see, these blogs are very cheap to run. Under $500 a month cheap, for four blogs. Investing $2,000 into a redesign or a faster hosting company hurts. It doesn’t make any sense, because that is money I would make back in no time. A way better return than what any bank would give me today. And yet, there is that unknown part. “Will it work?”, “Will I get my money back?”. I have way less aversion to risk when it comes to the market, and they are so much more volatile.
If you want to take your business to the next level, you will need to hire out many things. You can’t do it all, either for questions of time, or because you are not good enough. If you focus on what you are good at, say sales or bringing in new clients, and have other experts do the rest, you have a shot at faster growth and development.
Growing organically is valid too, but if you spend a whole afternoon tweaking a plugin on your website instead of making client calls, that was probably not the best use of your time.