3 Places to Put Your Money for Growth
We all know you’ve got to spend money to make money.
ut when you’re a business owner looking to invest for growth, it’s easy to find yourself pulled in a lot of different directions.
The places you COULD spend your money seem endless. So to help you and your business thrive in 2020, I’d love to share my “20/20” hindsight perspective about the investment spots in which I‘ve gotten the most value for money.
Most people go straight to an internet search or social media when they’re looking for products and services, and how you and your brand appear when someone finds your business online is going to influence their decision to work with you or buy from you. To have an effective and eye-catching online presence, the first things I always invest in are photography and a good virtual assistant.
Now, let me be the first to say that I’m not talking about photography because I’m a photographer; it’s simply because in today’s world, running any kind of business starts with that online presence and the imagery there. I recently ran a survey about photoshoot frequency, and I was shocked by the amount of business owners who weren’t even doing 1 photoshoot a year. Even if you are a service-based business owner and don’t need product photos, people will still want to see a current headshot so they know who you are. Also, when you’re trying to step up your game, it’s not a good time to run out of photo material. And while stock photos can get you through, having imagery that’s specific to you and your brand will have a much bigger impact. For all of these reasons, I recommend at least 1 photoshoot a year. 2 – 3 shoots (or 1 very large shoot) can keep you stocked with fresh photo material year round.
And because your online presence REALLY matters, having the assistance you need to maintain it is essential. As your business grows, you don’t want to burn out or let important items slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to begin handing certain tasks off to a virtual assistant or people on your team. They can help you with jobs like keeping your online imagery and other business information current, serving your customers, responding to emails, and handling extra duties during busy seasons. And while they do these things, you can keep your focus on nurturing your business and continuing its growth.
Another great place to spend money for growth in your business is on your marketing strategy. And one of the best ways to firm up that strategy is to know your numbers.
Let me give you an example. I used to think that I had to show up in every single place online all the time. It was exhausting because each platform favors different types of content, and I was running myself in circles trying to keep up with it all. That’s why I finally decided to analyze the different platforms’ numbers, figure out what was serving me best, and invest my time and money there. Now my marketing efforts are much more focused and productive, and yours can be, too.
If you want to take things further, you can always hire someone to help you with your marketing strategy. Or you can grow your marketing skills with courses, like the Creative Boss Method, my co-creation with Kayla of Ivory Mix Stock Photography. CBM is a series of 6 workshops with accompanying workbooks to walk business owners through the various aspects of running a creative business, fine-tuning the strategies around them, and applying this new knowledge in a methodical way. And 2 of those workshops are deep dives into the details of marketing success for Instagram and Pinterest.
I also want to mention revenue planning as another important “numbers” part of your marketing strategy. I never did it during the first few years of my business. Don’t make my mistake! With this type of planning, you’re looking at how much of certain activities you need to attract with your marketing and to perform in order to generate a certain amount of money. So whatever amount of income you’re looking for, revenue planning helps you translate those monetary amounts into specific quantities of products sold or clients served.
Revenue planning isn’t always the first thing business owners stop to think about, and it can be a bit of a challenge to figure out. That’s why Kayla and I also have a workshop on this concept in the Creative Boss Method. One of the coolest parts of this particular workshop is that we actually put all the math for this into a spreadsheet for you to use. So if you hate math, we’ve got you covered!
The third place I would recommend you put your money is in planning to scale. There’s no better time than right now to start organizing your business so it can successfully handle growth. Planning to scale can be as simple as writing down your client onboarding process or recording some screen videos about how you complete your regular tasks. People you hire later on will LOVE this information. I also strongly encourage you to look into online systems for organizing your life and your business, like Trello, Asana, Dubsado, and Airtable (my personal favorite). These types of services often come with free trials and templates so you can experiment and decide what will be perfect for you. But even it you’re a paper and pen kind of person, the point is to systematize what you can in your business so growth can happen gracefully. And yes, there’s a workshop in the Creative Boss method about scaling your business, too.
I hope my “20/20” perspective on these 3 investment points for growth have given you some ideas for your business. And remember, if you’d like to get a lot more in depth information on these topics and more, check out the Creative Boss Method. Kayla and I have worked hard to create the resource we wish we’d had when we were starting and growing our creative businesses into the successful endeavors we enjoy today. And we’d love to help you grow a thriving creative business in 2020, too!