When you run a business there a lot of shiny objects and it can be difficult to decide where you should invest your money. This is especially true when you are just starting. I’ve been there and I understand those feelings of overwhelm, especially when you are anxious to get the sales rolling in.
So, what should you spend your money on?
What are the important things to invest in when it comes to your business?
My first piece of advice on this is to take a big deep breath, pause, and don’t make financial decisions out of haste.
It’s incredibly easy to buy things you don’t need when you are just trying to make your business work and don’t know where to start.
Today, I want to focus on the two main categories that I believe should be a priority for investment, especially when you are just getting started. They are what will have grow your entrepreneurial muscles the most in the long run.
Those two important categories are education and workflow.
I believe that this is where you should be investing your time, energy, and money because they ultimately help you to build a solid business that provides a high-quality product and ultimately something that will sustain in the long-term.
So, let’s break this down a little bit starting with education.
A lot of crafters don’t usually start out with the intention of being a business owner. Most people I’ve met started out making a really cool product and decide later down the road that they will give selling a try. Most handmade sellers start with very little to no business knowledge.
This can be fixed and is where education comes into play. Learning about how to run a business helps you to develop a success plan. This can be done through online courses, reading books, watching youtube videos, listening to podcasts, etc.
The caveat lies in feeling like you need to buy every course and buy yourself into overwhelm. You know when your email turns into a course graveyard. You have all of these emails, course log-ins, but are too overwhelmed to look at any of it? As tempting as it is to buy and sign-up for everything because we want to soak up everything, focus is key.
When you start purchasing education resources, try to keep in mind that successful shops take time to build. Implementing strategies generally take time to see results. My advice is to find someone you trust, and give those strategies 60-90 days to see results before you move on to buying another course and spending more money.
You also don’t need to feel like you have to learn everything up front. You know on Facebook how you get inundated with a million business related ads if you search for one thing?
The three must-haves for a successful shop are search engine optimatization, good pictures, and top-notch customer service.
Educate yourself on those first and really nail those. Then, you can worry about the rest.
Email strategies, product line strategies, how to make a million dollars on shopify – it’s back to the shiny ball syndrome. Focus on one topic and learn it well before moving on to buying the next course and possibly overwhelming yourself. Focusing and learning each topic well rather than half-way learning something will prove to much more beneficial in the long-run.
The second category I mentioned was workflow. When you are getting ready to invest in your business and not quite sure if it’s a good decision – you can ask yourself will this increase my knowledge or improve my workflow to better serve my customers?
Workflow can relate to better equipment, new programs, or applications that help you to automate processes – anything that will help you to provide a better product, work faster, or improve the customer service experience. That type of investment will lead to more sales in the future.
Yes, there is truth to the quote “you gotta spend money to make money,” but that doesn’t mean that you just need to go wild and crazy and haphazardly throw money at your new business in hopes that it will make it work.
Focusing on learning the ins- and-outs of business and improving your workflow will open the door for more customers and ultimately more cash flow to spend money on other areas in your business.