Its always a challenge as a business of one to invest rather than earn – or try and do both and you burn yourself out, which is definitely not why I chose to work for myself.
The last few months have seen me invest in monthly 1-2-1s with a business coach, define new marketing packages, take part in a personal branding photoshoot (very out of my comfort zone), design and take delivery of some branded items and also do a complete review of services and my website. Alongside that, I’ve completed some refresher training in aspects of digital marketing so I keep up to date with the latest trends and also joined a networking group. If that wasn’t enough, I’ve become active in Facebook groups and also dedicated daily time to engaging with and growing my LinkedIn network to support my monthly face to face networking activity.
This has all involved a certain amount of financial and a whole load of time investment – so the proverbial “speculate to accumulate” springs to mind. I have made these investments with clear goals and at this early stage, every single one has been a good decision.
However, I wasn’t always that focused. In the last couple of years, I have wasted money, signing up to courses that I never completed and when I had the time, the course was out of date. Another regular investment was booking to attend networking events and being too busy to do so!
It is so easy to invest in loads of ‘stuff’ as a small business owner, online courses, subscriptions to marketing tools and workshops, networking, branding and more. Likewise investing your time in developing a marketing channel but seeing no results or engagement. It is then all too easy to lose momentum, or sometimes never make the most of any purchases! What seems like a great deal cost-wise then gets no return because there’s too much else on your to-do list. or, before you know it, the trial is up, the course is no longer available or the membership is up for renewal.
I know all too well that everyday work takes priority as we all have to generate an income and there is just never enough time to implement something new which is often out of your comfort zone!
One of the drivers behind redefining my business and the services that I offer was the lack of clarity many small businesses have around what marketing to invest in that is going to be sustainable and give a return too. There is so much to choose from and many are swayed by the dreaded FOMO. For example, the idea of not being on every social media platform is something I hear over and over again.
If I can offer one piece of advice – choose just 1, a maximum of 2, social platforms. This allows you time to consistently show up and engage, every single day, without it having to take up hours of your time. If you invest in any training at all, make it something that will give you the knowledge and confidence to use your chosen platforms and start to see traction on your investment.