When is the last time you invested in your business? There are so many things that we can spend our money on for our business – from learning new skills, improving what you’re doing, hiring help, getting design work done, and so much more. Never before has there been as many tools or training (or people) to invest in as there is right now.
With that abundance of options, though, comes the question of what is the right thing to spend money on to actually help hit your next goals in your business. After 7+ years in business, I feel confident in saying that you don’t need all of the courses from the big deal experts or to read more books to accomplish your goals.
Instead, I’m sharing 4 key investments you can make to help grow your business this year.
1 | A professional website design
It’s probably no surprise that this is the first thing I think you should invest in, but I want you to know that I don’t think you have to go drop $4,000 to get a custom website. After all, there’s a difference between professional and custom.
One of my favorite examples of this is my friend (and former Coded Creative biz partner), Krista. We met for the first time when she reached out to me in 2015 to feature me in a blog post she was writing. I remember checking out her site, thinking she looked super legit, feeling surprised that I hadn’t heard of her since everything looked so professional and well down, and saying sure to her request. It wasn’t until later that I realized that she actually hadn’t been running her business as long as her website made it look.
Why does this story matter? Because the first impression I got when I looked at her website was that she clearly was a well-established business owner.
Does your website give that same impression?
While Krista had worked with a designer to get a custom look for her site from the beginning, you don’t have to make such a big investment in your business to make your audience trust you and your experience right away. You can give the same first impression by utilizing and strategic and beautiful premade theme, regardless of what platform you’re on, for a fraction of the cost. In fact, with my WordPress themes, you could get setup for less than $500, which is well below what most designers charge for a custom design.
If you want to make sure your audience and peers get a great first impression from your website but aren’t sure which premade theme to choose, make sure you grab the Choose Your Theme guide below!
2 | Brand photos
For as long as I can remember I’ve been uncomfortable in front of the camera. That meant that when I started my business I used selfies as my headshots. The further along I got I tried to make my photos look less like I took it myself, but they never measured up to everyone else’s professional photos.
I know so many people can relate to that experience because I’ve even had a photographer tell me even SHE doesn’t love getting her photo taken. Thankfully there are tons of resources for stock photos that we can use on our websites and social media to help promote our content and our business.
Taking the leap to get photos taken for your brand is so worth it though because you instantly stand out online. Yes, there are about 500 people selling stock photos, but most people are using the same resources, making your content and your brand blend in with everyone else online.
When you get brand photos taken, you not only get a professional headshot to use but you also get photos you can use as custom stock imagery on social media, on your website, to promote your content, and more. Those photos that no one else has instantly makes your content stand out from the crowd, which gets more people engaged.
3 | Mastermind / coaching
A few years ago I published a blog post on my personal site about the best things I’ve done for my business, and creating my small mastermind group was one of those things. I not only gained some of my best friends, but I also got opportunities and support in my business that I’m certain I never would have had (at least not in the same way) otherwise.
The great thing about masterminds is that even if you don’t know anyone you can create your own group with you can always join a paid group, which I recommend! Although I love my small mastermind group, there’s less structure than a traditional paid group, where you’ll be a bit more focused on goals and getting things done in your business 😉
If a mastermind group isn’t your thing, I wanted to loop coaching into this section because I believe it can accomplish something similar (or more) in your business. I have worked with two coaches in my 7+ years of working for myself, and having that person outside of your business to take a look at what you’re doing and help you with strategies and even just mindset work that will help you see growth is really great.
Before hiring a coach, though, I highly recommend you do some business soul searching to decide what type of coach you want and finding the right one for you. There are so, so many out there, and making sure you find the right one will help ensure the investment is worth it.
4 | A virtual assistant
In my blog post a few weeks ago I recommended outsourcing as one of the 5 things you do for your business this summer, and it’s such a good thing to do that I’m bringing it into this post as well!
Last week I actually interviewed a gal who helps business owners simplify their businesses so they can see growth, and we talked about outsourcing. We agreed that most people, especially business owners who are really just getting started, look at their work and income and think, “Oh, I can’t afford to hire help!” I know I used that excuse for a while, too.
But the truth of the matter is that at some point you’ll reach a place in your business where it only makes sense to start outsourcing something. Because here’s the thing: running a business is a lot of work. There are so many things that go into launching your business, getting visible on social media, writing content to attract clients, working with clients, and so on. If you have kids or a full-time job, it’s hard to find the time to do it all, which is why you shouldn’t.
If you feel like you’ve plateaued in your business or that there aren’t enough hours in the day, I highly recommend you look into hiring help. Whether it’s someone to manage your social media, edit and schedule your content, or just help handle your inbox, taking one thing off your plate will give you more room to do the important tasks and continue to see growth.
Growing your business doesn’t always require courses, training, or buying all the resources. It’s about making a few intentional investments and then doing the work.
Head over and let me know on Instagram what the best investment you’ve ever made for your business is. I’d love to hear if it lines up with one that I’ve recommended in this post!