Growing your business takes time, effort and experimentation. Knowing where to invest is a challenge that all entrepreneurs face, no matter how long you have been in business. Are your sales slowing down? Are you having trouble with lead generation or finding reliable team members? Check out these warning signs that will tell you that you need to invest more in your business.
Not Knowing Your Business’ Finances
The first step in knowing where to invest in your business is knowing how much you CAN invest. How much money can you spare for a new website or more employees? Can you project your annual profit? Do you understand your cash flow? These are all pertinent questions to ask yourself before dropping a hefty sum on a new project.
Consider utilizing a financial advisor to help you keep track of your finances, or hire an accountant to help you manage monthly expenses. There are also plenty of online resources to help you understand your finances. Programs like Quickbooks keep track of your sales, expenses and more, keeping everything organized for you.
Depending on your financial situation, your business may be your main or only source of income. So, understanding your personal finances is just as vital so you know how much to pay yourself each month.
Your Competitors are Getting Ahead
As an entrepreneur, it is vital to keep track of your competitors. Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you figure out your next steps for scaling your business. Failure to keep up with your competitors will result in your business falling behind and your competitors taking potential business.
If you notice competitors getting ahead of you, it is time to invest. Consider revamping your website and social media pages, offer exclusive deals or host events to get customers in the door. Do not be afraid to change. If it means more money in your pocket and less for your competitors, investment is essential.
You Do Not Have Clear Goals
When starting a business, setting clear goals and objectives is the first step in knowing when and where to invest. What do you want to achieve with your business? Where do you think most of your sales will come from? Once you have goals, what systems are you implementing to accomplish them? These are all crucial questions to have answered before you start scaling your business.
A lack of clear goals will result in unnecessary loss of revenue and spending. Having systems and processes in place helps to streamline your business. It will also help you save you money that you can use to invest in other aspects of your company.
It is easy for entrepreneurs to want to do everything themselves. Entrepreneurial burnout is a real issue that millions of business owners face every day. According to a study by Business Insider, over 50 percent of business owners suffer from burnout at some point during their careers. Thirty percent also suffering from depression as well. Symptoms of burnout may include high anxiety, social isolation, heightened irritability and neglecting personal needs.
If you find yourself facing burnout, it is time to invest in more employees or automation systems. Making these investments will take work off your plate, giving you more energy to focus on what you do best. Hiring team members allows you to delegate tasks that you do not like to do. Automation systems like Hootsuite or Later allow you to schedule content posting ahead of time.
Reject the idea that you need to work 24-7 to make your business thrive. These days, there are so many ways to work smarter and still be successful.
There is a multitude of reasons why sales fluctuate, including the time of year, the stock market or shifting client needs. As a business owner, it is crucial to monitor your revenue patterns to see when changes need to be made. If your sales are in a steady decline or plateauing, it is time to look at what is not working. Often, it requires more investment into one or more aspects of your business.
Does your storefront need a re-design? Should you run a series of advertisements to drive traffic to your website? Do you need to work with a marketing agency to boost your brand? These are all factors to consider to increase your revenue.
Lack of an Online Presence
One of the most necessary investments for any business is your online presence. Your website and social media pages are often the introduction users have to your business. So, ensuring these are up to date is essential. Luckily, you do not have to be a web designer to make an attractive and effective website these days. Programs like Canva make it easy for anyone to make professional-looking graphics for social media.
Do you struggle with digital media? Consider working with a digital marketing agency. While more expensive, they can build a website, design advertisements and post to your social media pages. With social media marketing getting more competitive by the day, having a recognizable online brand is vital.
Not Willing to Invest in Marketing
A big mistake that many entrepreneurs make is not investing in marketing, especially at the beginning. While marketing costs may seem hefty, it is the best way to build brand awareness and connect with your customers. Not investing in marketing creates a disconnect between you and your customers, as you will not know what they want.
Nowadays, you do not have to cough up as much money for a good marketing campaign. With social media and viral marketing dominating the field, much of your marketing can be done for free. While websites, advertisements and promotional materials can get expensive, they are necessary investments for getting your name out there. Once your brand is recognized, your marketing costs will go down even more.
Low Employee Morale
If you notice your team not performing well or they seem apathetic about their work, discuss what you need to do. Your team is a valued asset and crucial to your business’s success. So, making them happy should be a top priority.
Make a point of having regular staff meetings, conduct surveys and ask for feedback whenever possible. As your company grows, ensure your staff’s pay reflects that growth. Give raises where they are due and give your team members opportunities to shine. Not only will that make your team happy, but they will work harder for you and help your business grow.
As your team grows, consider investing in educational workshops and training opportunities. Incentivize your team to learn new skills in exchange for bonuses or special project assignments.
Too Many Ideas
It is better to not have all your eggs in one basket. But, it is just as vital to not have too many baskets. As money starts to come in, your brain might be going crazy with new ideas. While this situation is great, too many business ventures can lead to burnout and loss of productivity. The more projects you are juggling, the less likely you are to put 100 percent effort into any of them.
A loss of productivity also leads to a loss of revenue. The less time you devote to what is working, the more sales you lose. Most importantly, your stress levels will increase and you are more likely to experience burnout. If you have an idea that works, stick to it. Let your business expand organically and focus on the present.
Lack of Experience
If you are a new entrepreneur, it is challenging to know where to invest your money. All entrepreneurs make a bad financial mistake at some point in their careers. So, do not feel discouraged if you lose a little bit of money. Do not be afraid to ask for advice from experienced business owners or invest in training and seminars.
Attending seminars or webinars will allow you to network with industry professionals and learn valuable skills you can apply to your company. Consider working with a business coach to get yourself organized or a marketing company to get your name out there. While these costs add up, the goal is to make that investment back and then some with your newly obtained skills. If money is tight, there are countless YouTube videos and podcasts that focus on entrepreneurial success.
Work With Us
Knowing how to invest in your business is a challenging task that is always changing. Luckily, Business Marketing Engine is here to help you with all your marketing needs. From brand development to website design, our dedicated team is ready to help your business grow. Contact us today to get started.