Why You Should Invest in Your Business Even if Budgets are Tight
A business will only grow if you invest in it. You need to invest time. You need to invest effort and sometimes it is a good idea to invest money. There will be times when you might not need to invest money. You can put in a lot of time and effort into social media or networking to essentially get free advertising. You will obviously put a lot of time and effort into the actual service or product that your business is built around to deliver to a high standard so that you get repeat customers and new customers through word of mouth. There are free DIY options for many areas of business but you need to weigh up whether investing your time and effort on these areas is a good thing or whether you would be wiser to invest those on your area of expertise and invest some money in those jobs you have considered doing yourself.
Let’s take your website for example (not a surprise I would choose that to focus on really). Many people think that going for the incredibly cheap DIY route makes sense when they are starting their business. I understand that. If you haven’t started making much money yet or perhaps not even any then you would be reticent to pay for something you could technically do yourself and only pay a few pounds for the domain name and a few pounds a month for hosting. But is the end result actually going to have been worth the time and effort you invested? Does the end result really sell your business? If you are completely honest with yourself does it look as professional as you would really like it to? This isn’t you setting up a quick blog so your mate can show everyone his marathon challenge progress to get more sponsorship. This isn’t your daughter’s GCSE IT project. This is your business showcase, your online sales person (see our “Shout About Your Business” blog post). Are you a web designer and developer? If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be trying to design a business website.
Invest Wisely by Planning for the Future
Now, I’m not saying you have to invest loads of money in your online presence, but you should be taking it seriously. You should really consider the look and feel you want your website to have. This about the functionality you need on it now eg. a contact form, a blog, a gallery and links to purchase your items on Amazon. Then think about the functionality you may want in the future eg. your own online shop and functionality to book a session. Now you need to choose the right website provider based on all of that. Even if you don’t need all of that now, you want to invest your money sensibly. You don’t want to pay to create a website now that only lasts a year and then start from scratch again in a year’s time. You just wasted the first lot of money. Buy a website that can be added to and grow with your business for no extra cost. (We created a couple of free online courses a little while ago that will help you identify what you need from your website or membership site before you set about creating them. If you think that would help you, you can find them both here.)
All of this probably sounds like it could get very expensive and if you’re not careful it could, but it doesn’t have to. Websites that have bespoke designs and builds can cost thousands and thousands of pounds. Through 2nd Floor we do create bespoke sites that we charge thousands of pounds for but we only do this when the business really requires it. This is when complex functionality is needed or the client has a very niche or premium design requirement.
We wanted to bring our quality to businesses who don’t have big budgets but who still need to have a quality website representing them. That’s why we created Ready Steady Websites® and it’s why we treated each template like it was a client project. We researched the niche, spent the design time and process on each that we would on a client website. That’s why we provide support and training in setting it up and putting it live for you so that it works beautifully for you and your website visitors. Because of this time we have invested, it means it’s not as cheap as other website services out there but Ready Steady Websites® is a bit more special than your standard off-the-shelf website providers but not as crazily priced as web agencies. We fall somewhere in the middle and we truly believe that that level of investment is important for any business who is serious about succeeding.
Why is Spending Money on Yourself or Your Family Easier than Investing in Your Business?
If you don’t want to pay upfront, you can get one of our templates for £59 per month, for one year (or less if we have an offer on). What else do you pay for each month which isn’t an investment at all but that you don’t even think twice about paying. Eating out? TV streaming services? Gym membership? (It’s important to be healthy but there are plenty of free exercise options out there but many of us still pay for a gym regardless.) A few little treats? All of these add up and I know that in my household they add up to more than our monthly fee.
I’ve used the example of investing in your website but the same could be said for all areas of business that you are putting lots of time and effort into but aren’t really getting the desired results because it’s not your area of expertise. We have an accountant. I know we could do our own self-assessments etc. but I am also very, very, even painfully aware that spreadsheets and numbers are my nemesis. It takes me twice as long to do anything financial as it would most other people. Especially when I know it really has to be right otherwise I could have HMRC knocking on my door! (My Mum was an accountant and my Dad a Bank Manager, apparently numeracy skills skip a generation!) I am more than happy to pay our accountant every month. He is worth every penny we pay him and he doesn’t bring us in any business but your website could if you get it right!