I know what you’re thinking… “I’m not making any money yet, so how can I possibly put money into this business if I don’t know if there will be a return?”
My answer to that is this, which has been an underlying theme here at Student to CEO… in order to make more money, you have to spend money.
And that means investing in the people and tools that will help to bring you to where you want and need to be.
Let me clarify what I mean by that, though: it doesn’t mean that you need to spend money on everything that comes your way, but it does mean that you need to be strategic about what you invest in and not be afraid to spend money.
Here’s what invested in when my business was under a year old.
Website + Business Cards
My background may be in marketing, but I am not an expert when it comes to graphic design or web design. Although I know that I could watch YouTube videos to learn how to design my own website, I also know that time is money and I’d rather spend my limited time doing the things I’m good at rather than wasting it doing something that I’m not good at. I knew that whatever I created wouldn’t be something that I wanted, so it was a no-brainer to hire someone to do it right.
Going along with my website would be my business cards, since they were designed by the same designer. Having business cards handy for not only networking events but also the potential of meeting someone on the street who could benefit from working with us is crucial!
Legal Entity + Accounting
You of course want to make sure that your business is legal, so for me, that meant getting my DBA in my town and filing for an LLC in the state. Both were a fairly simple process to do and ensured that I was conducting my business the right way.
Going along with that is accounting. You may laugh when you discover that I wanted to be an accountant before I knew that I wanted to own a marketing firm, because I wouldn’t be the best accountant. I like making money, but keeping track of it all? Not so much. I wanted to make sure that I paid the right amount of taxes on time each quarter and filed properly each year, so I hired an accountant to handle that end of the business. The last thing I would want is to get in trouble with the IRS for not paying my taxes correctly! Yikes.
You don’t need to work with a business coach immediately, but I knew where I wanted to take my business and also knew that I would need someone to help me get there, so hiring a business coach was the next step for me. I chose to work with a coach who had an extremely similar background / story as me, so I knew that her experience would guide me in the right direction.
Although working with her definitely helped me to make more money, build my confidence, improve my mindset, develop my business, and more, I will say that I recommend not hiring a coach until you really feel like you need one. Having a coach has become a “trend,” so don’t feel pressured into hiring a coach just because it seems like everyone else has one. Identify what you need help with and hire someone from there.
And although I didn’t invest in this (because it’s what I do!), I would highly recommend investing in marketing. If you are unable to do it, or you don’t have a team member who can do it, work with a professional who can help you to develop a marketing strategy strategy that will allow you to establish trust with your audience, build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and more. People can’t purchase your products or work with you if they don’t know that you exist… and that’s where marketing comes in!
Your investments may vary depending on what your business is and what industry you’re in, but remind yourself that the best way to move forward in your business is to develop the parts that need and deserve the most attention.