Here’s the thing, I get it. I chat with so many business owners. You’re a solopreneur, you’re a small business owner, you’re an entrepreneur. All of those titles usually mean you’re on your own in your business.
I know many of your are proud of the fact that you’ve bootstrapped your business from the ground up, tackling every task that comes your way. You built your first website, dove in and learned how to edit and upload videos to YouTube, figured out how to format your email newsletter, and even wrestled your shopping cart into submission.
But that feeling of pride that comes from doing the work yourself comes with a price. Too many small business owners are working too many hours, suffering from burnout and frustration—not because they’re not good at what they do, but simply because they’re unwilling to truly invest in their business.
They’re letting a scarcity mindset prevent them from taking the steps—and making the investments—that will have a massive impact on their business. And maybe you are, too.
By far the biggest objection to outsourcing you’ll hear is “I can’t afford it.” Perhaps you’ve heard—or even said it. But the fact is, if you’re a serious business owner, you can’t afford not to outsource.
The time you free up by not doing those mundane, everyday tasks is time you’ll spend more profitably, by:
- Creating new coaching programs.
- Upping your content marketing game.
- Recording video and audio content.
- Connecting with your audience through email and blogging.
- Working with clients either one on one or in a group setting.
- Or just enjoying your life!
Outsourcing should never be looked at as an expense. In fact, if you’re not getting a return on your outsourcing investment, take a hard look at what you’re outsourcing and to whom, because there is likely plenty of room for improvement.
Most online business owners start out using low-cost tools with limited features. For example, you might be using PayPal exclusively for product sales, and manually adding buyers to your mailing list each time you receive a payment. While that’s an acceptable solution when time is easier to come by than money, you’ll quickly outgrow it. The problem is, too many entrepreneurs fail to recognize the benefits of true automation.
Not only is trying to “make do” with a pieced-together system costing you sales, but it costs actual dollars, too. You (or your VA) will spend extra time simply getting it all to work, rather than letting the tools do the heavy lifting.
Recognize when it’s time to uplevel your marketing tools to include true funnel automation, and watch your income increase dramatically!
It is possible to build your business solely on your own. You can pay attention to what others are doing and reverse engineer their systems. You can read books and blogs and maybe invest in a few carefully chosen training programs.
But there will come a time when your growth will flat line, and you’ll struggle to reach that next level. That’s when it’s time to invest in coaching. And yes, even coaches have (and need) coaches. A coach can help you see past your own blind spots, work through the blocks that are holding you back, and build a business you love—on your own terms.
Professional Design Work
Professional design work is notoriously undervalued in small businesses. When financial times get tough, the creative budget is one of the first things cut. Only one small business out of several I’ve worked with had a dedicated graphic designer on staff. In one sense, that’s great news for freelance designers and design agencies, but it also highlights exactly where designers fit on a small business’ list of priorities.
Small business owners typically run on limited resources, and while each wants a beautiful website, clever logo, and compelling marketing collateral, they’re not always willing to pay professional rates to get them. Instead, they ask an employee without adequate training—usually a marketing assistant who wears many hats—to try their hand at DIY design. Or they start searching the web for “cheaper” options. Either way, the business owner is probably not going to be happy with the results.
You know what they say: you only have one chance to make a first impression. Whether it’s a website or the logo in an email signature, potential customers will judge a business in just a few seconds based on visual appeal alone. High-quality graphic design gives businesses credibility—and that’s priceless. No matter how great a product or service, with poor design, it’s unlikely anyone will stick around the company’s website or keep its email long enough to find out.
For many small business owners, investing in their businesses — particularly following uncertain economic times — can be counter-intuitive. Nervous about taking risks during of after a period of economic uncertainty, especially like the one we are currently having, these entrepreneurs tend to hold back, preferring to wait and see. The hesitancy to invest money, especially, is understandable. For starters, according to the Kaufman Foundation Index, the nature of the recovery from the last recession has been different than other economically challenging periods. While startup activity is on the rise, growth has been slow. As a result, many entrepreneurs are reluctant to invest in their business. Additionally, the two main pain points for small business are time and money. Given that investing in one’s business requires both, it’s not hard to understand why a small business owner might hold back on a big outlay of cash.
The bottom line is this; don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Wise investments such as coaching, automation, professional design work and outsourcing will pay for themselves many times over.