Imagine if you purchased a brand new car. A car, by itself, is a significant investment. This car, however, is the one that you’ve always wanted. Therefore, it means so much more to you. You might consider it your ‘baby,’ and if you are anything like my brother-in-law, you will name it, wash it almost daily, wipe down the dashboard and upholstery at any sign of dust and keep anyone under the age of 12 out of it unless they are directly related. But they must be clean and come wrapped in plastic.
Now that you’ve gotten your car – would you refuse to invest any more into it? Would you refuse to put gas in it because, well, we all know that after a while, the gas will run out? Would you refuse to do oil changes. I mean, heck! It’s just going to need another one in 3,000 – 5,000 miles, right?
With your car, you understand that there are going to be things that you are going to have to invest in so that the car will continue to run and serve you for a long time. Your business is no different. In order to keep in running, you have to be willing to make the investments to keep it running. Sometimes, like with your car, there are going to be your simple maintenance activities – lights, phones, pay employees, etc.
However, there are also going to be larger expenditures that you may have to find other sources of money for. Like your car, for it to continue to operate past milestones – 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 100,000 miles and so forth, you are going to have to make some larger investments – that are going to be risky, in order to stay on track.
Know that your business does not operate in a bubble. There are dozens of companies that do exactly what you do for the exact same market you do it for. What will often give you or them competitive advantage (like investing in a turbo charger, for example) is going to what you put back into the company – advertising & promotion, knowledge, machinery, strategic alliances, etc., that make the output for your company that much greater. Thinking that you can keep your purse-strings tight and get the results you are looking for is analogous to the vehicle upgrade that allows your car to hover above traffic – while not completely out of the realm of possibilities – pretty far fetched, at best.
IMPORTANT!! Investing in your business isn’t a haphazard “throw some money at it and it will be all better” activity. That only works for teenagers. and only sometimes!
Smart investing takes into consideration both risk and return:
- What could go wrong if I make this investment?
- What could go wrong if I don’t make this investment?
- Which can I handle and how much of it can I handle?
- What benefits/outcomes should I expect as a result of this?
- In what time period should I expect these results?
- What is my backup plan if things go awry?
You’ve got to think it through – not just what could go wrong, but what could go right and how right it could go. This is foundational for strategic planning.
As an extraordinary business leader, you cannot afford to be afraid to invest in your business. It will not grow, otherwise. You will simply continue to exist and never reach the potential you and your company have.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN| CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth. We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.
Join us for a 30-minute complimentary Coffee & a Consult, to learn more about Aepiphanni and how we might help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.