I first want to start this by saying that I am no financial guru. However, I’ve realized that implementing what we learn can make an impact on our growth. The truth is, we all need help. A strength of entrepreneurs is knowing when to delegate and finding others with skills that you need to develop your business. It’s a great idea to seek assistance!
Here is a list of 6 game-changing investments in no specific order that have been of great value in my business.
1. A CRM System: Customer Relations Management is software designed to help you collect payment, book appointments (if you are a serviced-based business), sign contracts, create funnels for leads, and help you communicate with your clients via email marketing. It’s intimidating to understand at first and depending on your business’ needs, you may require a few systems. Some popular CRM systems are Dubsado & Honeybooks. I personally use Sprout because it’s specifically designed for photographers by photographers and keeps everything in one central location.
2. A Videographer & Photographer: Video is king in marketing. We love visual stories. According to a February 7, 2021, Sports News article, the price of a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl has increased every year since 1967. In 1967 a 30 second commercial ran $37,500-$42,500. In 2021, a 30 second commercial cost $5,500,000. That’s about a $546,2500 jump in 54 years! The lesson isn’t to invest in a Super Bowl commercial, but to illustrate how valuable video is for your business. Prioritize your objectives for your video content and establish a budget appropriate for your scale of business. Investing in a good videographer with expertise will be worth it.
If you are a product-based business, you need to show off your products with images/videos that seamlessly blend with your brand image. You also need to showcase yourself- you- the person behind the brand. Do your homework and don’t just settle for the best deal. Find someone you connect with, your emotion will be captured in these images! Invest in a photographer who understands your end goal and who you are as a brand and owner. Even me, a photographer running her own business, needs to be modest enough to give the camera to someone else. It’s not merely about having the skill, it’s about getting quality, targeted images to build your business on a strong foundation.
3. Financial Advisor: If you grew up broke like me, financial literacy is a learning curve. I not only needed to learn how to budget, but to prioritize what had to be included in my budget to run my business smoothly. Thankfully I married an accountant/auditor, so all my expenses are paid and in good standing. But money trauma is real. And we need to learn how to deal with it so that we don’t infect our business with it. A financial advisor will provide you with clarity, peace of mind, and resources to make sure you are equipped to make wise investments.
4. Virtual Assistant: Being an entrepreneur requires you to wear many hats. However, being spread too thin can take a toll on the quality of your work. Prioritize what tasks take the most time away from doing what you do best. Delegating repetitive or simple time-consuming tasks will free your mental energy and keep you focused. It may be hard at first to trust someone new to do what you’re used to doing. You may have to invest time training them, but lightening your load by hiring a VA is not only providing someone with a job opportunity, it sets you up to be more proactive instead of reactive.
5. Education: There is a lot of free information out there! A LOT! This is a great thing for your wallet, but please think critically. Look to local resources for free advice, tutorials, and some even offer seminars for local business owners. Take advantage of the Small Business Administration for a crash course on planning, launching and managing your business.
When looking to invest in education, find someone that you enjoy learning from. Avoid someone who tickles your ears, but seek out someone whose business emulates where you want your business to go. Check if they have online classes or in-person workshops to invest in. You are spending money, but the networking, skills, and relationships you gain from those investments are invaluable. Most industries are constantly changing, so stay ahead of the curve and budget for education for learning new skills, training your team, or updating your tech.
6. Website: We live in a digital age. Owning your domain looks professional, and having a website means you are building your brand on your own virtual platform. Social media is great, but why build a home on someone else’s turf? Social media apps can change the rules of the game at any time. If something goes awry, your clients will know where to find you at all times when you make your website your brand’s virtual home base. Instead, utilize social media to funnel potential clients to your website. And keep in mind that a website is not a one-and-done brochure. As your brand expands, so should your website.
What was one thing you first outsourced in your business? Comment below.