Invest in your business – 17 ways to invest wisely

The difference between investment and expense

I probably don’t need to tell you that investing in your business is important. Many business owners, especially startups running on limited profits find it a challenge to understand the difference between an investment and an expense. Especially in times of hardship, economic downturn or increased competition, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking everything that costs money is an expense. Smart business owners will continually invest in the growth of their business. Investing in your business does not always have to come with a monetary price tag. You can invest money sure, but you can also invest your time, invest in others and invest in building relationships.

I asked fellow small business owners, “what was the best investment you have ever made in your business?” and this is what they had to say:

1.Invest in your marketing

If people don’t know who you are and don’t know your business exists, then you don’t have a business. Marketing is an investment in the future of your business. It doesn’t matter whether you invest in a Facebook ad campaign, Google adwords, flyers or a client referral campaign, you must keep telling people you exist. If you can’t afford to invest in marketing your business, you can’t afford to be in business. The great news is not all marketing needs to have a huge monetary investment. There are plenty of things you can do to market your business for free. These 21 strategies are ideas which only require an investment in your time.

2. Invest in a great website

In order to compete in today’s digital world, it’s important to have a great website. Your website should be well designed, easy to navigate, fully capable, mobile responsive and SEO optimised. It should tell people who you are and how they can contact you. It should have clear links to help people find important information. It’s a good idea to have customer testimonials as social proof of what you can help them with. Your site should tell visitors what you want them to do as soon as they visit (a call to action). Including a blog will allow you to keep your site updated regularly with fresh, valuable, well-written, quality content. Most of all your website should also be secure and hosted on a reliable platform.

3. Invest in SEO

Even if you have a great website, it won’t be much good if no-one can find you. There are many aspects to good SEO. You can engage the services of an SEO expert or if you prefer to tackle it yourself, take a course such as Kate Toon’s Recipe For SEO Success.

Related post: SEO basics for dummies, from a dummy!

 4. Invest in a social media strategy

Like it or not, in the past 5 years, the way people do business has changed. With the rapid development of social media, your business must have a presence on the platforms where your ideal customers are spending the most time. You must continually provide great value and useful content. If someone has a problem which needs solving, they can search for an answer, for free, at any time. Make sure they can find the answer from you!

5. Invest in defining who your ideal customer is

There’s an old saying – “The riches are in the niches”. You must get clear on who your business will serve. Simon Sinek says “the goal is not to do business with everyone who wants what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” This is a brilliant way of saying, define your niche! If you try and serve everyone, you will actually end up helping no-one because your solution will be too broad. Define your audience and get clear on their specific problem so you can provide the best solution.

 

define your ideal client

6. Invest in your staff

Make sure you hire the right people. Invest in their training and ongoing professional development. Ensure you acknowledge your staff for the work they do. Create systems to help your staff feel valued and feel like they can have ownership over their work.

7. Invest in a coach

A coach can challenge you and help you see a side of your business that you might not be able to see. The right coach can help with many aspects of your business such as:

  • defining your niche and your ideal customer
  • creating or refining your business plan
  • setting goals
  • creating your marketing strategy
  • improving productivity
  • creating systems
  • building your team
  • strategising for growth
  • preparing to sell your business.

8. Invest in reading books

Seek out books by people who are doing the types of things you aspire to do in your business. Some great business authors to check out are:

9. Invest in listening to podcasts

Podcasts are a great alternative for people who are on the go. I find podcasts are great to listen to in the car, while walking my dog, doing household chores or even in the shower. Some fantastic podcasts to check out are:

10. Invest in learning your craft and continually develop your skills

You certainly don’t have to be the most experienced in your field to have a successful business. It’s likely there are other competitors who have been at it longer than you. Invest in learning your craft so you can position yourself as highly skilled and able to cater to your client’s needs. Staying up to date with changes in your industry is also important as technology and trends evolve and adapt.

11. Invest in signage on your car

If you have a bricks and mortar business, you’ve probably invested in signage on the exterior so people can see you. If you have an online business, you have hopefully invested in a website and in some kind of marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site. How about all the other times when you are not at your place of work or not running online ads? If the amount of traffic on the roads these days is any indication, it seems that the population is more mobile than ever before. Why not turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard to make it even easier for potential customers to find you while you are out and about?

12. Invest in professional photos

A picture is worth a thousand words so investing in good quality photography is important. Your media represents your business and you want to make sure you are sending the right message. Customers want to get to know you, and only custom professional photos can truly showcase your business and your individual style.

13. Invest in your personal development

Running a business requires a broad range of skills from sales to planning to budgeting to management. It’s wise to continue to invest in your personal development and continue to work on the skills which are your weakest.

Related post: Personal development — 14 ways to invest in yourself

14. Invest in your health and wellbeing

Your health is priceless. As a small business owner, it’s likely you can’t afford to time off work. You certainly can’t afford to be unwell and not able to give 100% to your business each day. Take time to exercise, go for a walk, eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.

15. Invest in becoming better at sales

Sales is something every business owner has to be good at. In fact, not good, great! If you’re in business and you can’t sell, you’re in trouble. Sales isn’t always about a monetary transaction. Believe it or not, you’re selling all the time. At the heart of it, selling is about people. You’re always selling yourself, with every interaction you make with others. If you work in a team, you might find yourself needing to sell a new idea. It’s beneficial to improve your sales skills, even if you never deal directly with customers.

Related post: Improve conversions and double your business

 

Connect more effectively. convert more reliably

 

At the heart of it, selling is about people. Click To Tweet

16. Invest in looking after your clients

It’s said that it costs 7 times more to gain a new client than it does to keep a current one. Your current clients are one of your most valuable assets. Invest time in helping them. Go above and beyond. Believe in the idea of ‘under promise and over deliver’. Thank them regularly for their business; whether that’s with an unexpected phone call, or card in the mail or a small gift.

17. Invest in networking

Building relationships with other business owners, in my opinion, is an under-rated investment because business is about people. If you want to be successful in business, it’s wise to invest in networking with people. Look at joining Facebook groups and networks such as Business Business Business, Better Business Better Life, Colabora or BNI. As the world becomes more reliant on digital communications, those business owners who can build people to people relationships are the ones who will stand out in the crowd!

 

Invest in your business - 17 ways to invest wisely
Invest in your business – 17 ways to invest wisely

64 Replies to “Invest in your business – 17 ways to invest wisely”

    1. Couldn’t agree more, you must have read my mind! Keep an eye out for my blog this week (will be coming out Sunday) – all about how to invest in yourself!!

  1. I love this:

    “Investing in your business does not always have to come with a monetary price tag. You can invest money sure, but you can also invest your time, invest in others and invest in building relationships”

    I would add to this that even though the return of investment of those non monetary options (time with others and relationship building) may take a little bit longer, it is definitely going to be worth it.

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely words Beatriz. Investing in your business is always worth it! Networking and collaborating pays off in dividends!

    1. Yes I agree Ashlee! These tips were specifically for business but keep an eye out for my post next week which is specifically all about investing in yourself. 🙂

  2. I absolutely love this! I’m only just changing my mindset to see my blog as a business, and I really need to start working on all these things. I’m terrible when it comes to trying to “please everyone”, but I love the Simon Sinek quote you shared – I want people to believe what I believe. I’m printing that and putting it on my wall as motivation. Thanks for these amazing tips – tweeting!

    1. In my experience Alicia, sometimes it’s the things that cost no money, like talking to people, building relationships, setting up cross promotions, networking which have the greatest pay off. Instead of thinking can I afford to invest, think in terms of can I afford NOT to invest?

  3. this is a great post, really good info. I am starting my business and always am looking for great advice. It is so true, I invest so much time into my business. I work more on it than an average person does on their full time job while also working part time.

    1. Congratulations on starting your business Andrea! Exciting times ahead for you and I wish you al the very best. If I can give you advice from my experience in business, always be clear on what is an investment and what is an expense. Investments directed into the right areas will reap rewards!

  4. A really great and comprehensive list, talked through very effectively. Easy to read and extremely practical – you sold me! So many small business owners need to read this – even those that are doing well, because its rare that someone would have all of these factors covered. Sound advice. Thank you.

    1. Thankyou so much Nicole. Really appreciate the kind words. Yes often it’s the business owners who have been in business for many years who need these kind of reminders more than anyone. It’s easy to get complacent and forget about investing back into your business.

    1. Thankyou Neha! These tips were specific to business investment but keep an eye out for my blog next week which is specifically about investing in yourself. I think you’ll love it!

  5. I love using the library to borrow business books. Two authors you didn’t mention, that I really love, are: Danielle Laporte (Fire Starter Sessions) and Lisa Larter (Pilot to Profit). Both have amazing resources on their website for free as well.

    1. I agree Milijana! Fitness and health have always been a huge part of my life so I place huge value on these things. It’s a message I am passionate about spreading.

  6. Great advice! Not everything applies to my science communication business (I can just imagine me driving around in a car advertising science writing!) but a lot does.

    1. Absolutely Eva there are things specific to a local business which will differ from an online business for example. As long as you are speaking to your ideal audience, and getting in front of them where they hang out, that’s the most important thing!

    1. Yes Anmaria! There are specific things that are essential for growth of a business and then there are different things which help the investment within yourself. I believe both are equally important

  7. Absolutely great read. I’m a brand + web designer so I’m happy that investing on a good website is #2 as it is your business hub and usually one of the first impressions people get of your business. I’m learning to invest in myself and my health. That’s not always a connection I make but it truly is important.

    1. It absolutely is Kimberly! You might be interested to check out my newest blog post which will be up this Sunday all about investing in yourself. 🙂

  8. I absolutely LOVE this entire list. As a business coach myself I know how important it is to invest to reap results in your business. I love how you’ve put together a list of personal and business investments, because a business can only grow as much as the business owner. Great list, thanks x

    1. Thankyou Murielle! I appreciate that from a fellow business coach. You might like my newest blog which will be going up on Sunday – I’ll be covering off specific ways you can invest in yourself which is so important for business owners. Be sure to check back in 🙂

    1. Thanks Natasa, yes it’s true and sometimes the things that cost no money, like building relationships, networking, talking to people have the greatest pay off.

    1. SEO is really important Saidat! Great to hear you’re investing time into that area as well as personal development.

  9. Really interesting piece of content!
    You have some valid points and it made me curious to discover the rest of your blog!

    And investing in a coach – so important!!!

    1. Agree Deaven. You might like my latest blog which will be published this Sunday – I’ll be focusing specifically on ways to invest in yourself. It’s important to have specific strategies for both your business and yourself.

    1. Yes! Any solopreneur is their business and so finding that great balance between investing back into business growth and investing in yourself is super important. My next blog (published Sunday) week will be specific about investing in yourself. I think you’ll like it! Make you sure check back in 🙂

  10. This is very helpful. I always learned the best investment you can make is in yourself and in others. So important to switch to an investment mentality when you start a business!

    1. Absolutely Nicole. It’s important to invest in yourself but these specific business investments are also important to ensure continual growth!

  11. Two things really stuck me with this “6. Invest in your staff” I have my daughter helping and she does not seem to “get it” she thinks what I do is a hobby. The other “14. Invest in your health and wellbeing” I have started doing as of late because I started this venture to support my family some day. I have to be healthy enough to do that for sure.

    1. Absolutely Jennifer! Especially when you’re working for yourself you can’t afford to take time off. Health is a massive priority. All the best with your business.

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