When is the best time to invest and what to invest in your business is a question that I get asked often as a business coach and a strategist. I’m going to cover this question and also what you should expect from investments at various levels.
There are a lot of different ways to invest in yourself and/or in your business - and they’re not all financial investments. There is time investment (sweat equity), too. Financial investments often help you anchor in the commitment and hopefully gives you a layer of accountability.
Have you ever had this happen? You think I've been looking for a solution to this issue, but I'm just pulling something out of thin air. For example, I really would love to enroll more students into my studio. Later that day you're on social media and you stumble upon something. All you have to do is drop your name/email and sometimes pay a bit of money and you will have the solution to your issue. This is a business strategy to get you in at a low cost and then, over time, convert you to a longer long-term customer.
We do this in our studios through free trials or paid trials. It’s a low cost to help relieve the barrier of entry to get them in, because we know, when we get them in, they're going to love us. But we're not giving them all the things up front when they come into a free trial. They're not getting the costume, the recital, and 12 weeks of classes for free. That is not what we're doing. We are giving them a little taste of what we do in the hopes that they will want more.
Now that you’ve given your email address or your low-cost investment, did you actually get your problem solved? No! It gave you an awareness of the problem and maybe got your juices flowing on solving it sooner. More than likely you will need to move to the next level to get actual solutions and answers to your questions.
We need to understand that certain investments are going to cost us more. If you grab a free opt-in or a very low ticket program, it is probably not going to solve all your problems. It might have a lot of great content and it might have some really good things that do help you propel forward. But it is not going to propel you forward at the rate or speed that you need to move. If you want quick, fast results, you need to enroll in a program that gives you quick, fast results, and you need to invest at a rate that's going to get you what you want.
The flip side is: what is the cost of not investing? There is a cost to not investing in yourself and your business. The cost is delayed results. It is not getting to your goals as quickly as you desire. So many times people get stuck in paralysis by analysis. They're thinking about it. They're thinking about it. They know they need support, but they tell themselves they can't afford it. There's a cost to that. You will stay stuck. It will keep you stuck.
I’ve talked to people that ask how much does working with you cost? And instantly they say, I can’t afford it. How do you know you can't afford it? I had a client one time say, “Erin, I would love to hire a snow removal company.” And I said, “Well, what does that cost?” And she said, “I have no idea, but I know I can't afford it.” I said, “How do you know that you can't afford it?” She said, “Well, it just seems like it'd be really expensive.” Until we know the actual dollar amount, we don't know if it really is too expensive or what we need to do in order to get that thing right. We can't plan. It's just a story we're telling ourselves. It's not a fact; it's a feeling. It turned out when she researched it, it wasn’t that expensive and she could afford it. All she had to do was enroll two more students - just 2!
There are so many different things that you can invest in your business: upgrades to your studio, software and systems, and business coaching. There are the right times to invest. You want to run Facebook ads for your business, but if you don't have a system to manage those leads then you might as well be throwing money out your window when you're driving down the road because they're going to fall through the cracks and you won’t see a return on your investment (ROI). So, there are times where I think it is actually wiser to delay investing - if you don't have your foundational pieces in place. Invest in getting your foundational pieces in place and then run the ads.
This all goes back to your vision. Get clarity on what it is you actually want. What are your goals? What is your big vision? It becomes very easy to see what is the most important thing to invest in right now to get to where you want to be.