‘You have to spend money to make money.’ It’s a cliché more worn out than two-year-old running shoes, and while it’s a little simplistic, it’s somewhat true nevertheless. The reality is, you don’t HAVE to spend money to make money. Most businesses start out with their belts and budgets fairly tight, and that is fiscally responsible. However, there comes a moment for every business owner when they must recognize that in order to continue growing, they have to pull the trigger on certain investment opportunities or chance missing out on them. These decisions can be difficult and even downright scary when the investment seems risky, or carries a high price tag. That said, if the short term risk makes sense for the long term success of your business, you must learn to vanquish fear and place a calculated bet on yourself and your business to deliver a maximum return on your dollar.
If you often take a “maybe later” approach to expensive or potentially risky decisions, this kind of passiveness can slow your growth either immediately, or certainly over time. Here are some tips to help you get over the short-term thinking hurdle, and help you focus on the big picture.
Is the investment directly in line with your goals for your business?
This may sound obvious, but there’s a difference between writing a check for a tool or resource that could be a game changer for your company versus buying a piece of fool’s gold, metaphorically speaking. Certain decisions that carry a high price tag are almost always worth it. In 2019, you are most likely making a wise investment if you are: sourcing a digital marketing company or investing in your online or social media presence; hiring essential personnel that, while expensive, can add significant value to your business; investing in resources or technology that improve your efficiency or the overall quality and consistency of your product. Though it’s never fun to pay a high price tag, investments in these areas should be less scary for you as they almost always offer a notable return on investment in the long run.
Remember why you got into this business in the first place.
One of the easiest ways to overcome the “what does this mean for me right now” mindset that hampers decision-making is, strange as it sounds, thinking back to when you started your company. Very few entrepreneurs get into business to just do okay, so most likely you started out with a great deal of ambition and expectations that your company was going to thrive and provide for you and your loved ones. If you can approach tough, pricey, smart-albeit-risky business decisions from the perspective of your entrepreneurial beginnings, it will become exponentially easier for you to make a move, trusting that in the long run it will keep the ‘machine’ you built printing money for your family well into the future.
When it comes to long term decisions for your company, lead with your gut, not your brain. That’s right– I said it. Now I’m not suggesting that you make key decisions for your business without thinking them through. Rather, I’m saying that you should pay more attention to your initial ‘gut’ reaction when you heard about that amazing investment that could be a game changer. Were you excited? Eager? Most likely after thinking about the cost or the risk, your brain then started laying out all the “well, but, and what-ifs” that have you thinking twice. Sometimes it’s important to trust your gut-driven intuition, and understand that your brain is trying to protect you, but playing it safe is not always safest for the future of your company.