If you’re a creative entrepreneur, then you’re definitely no stranger to hearing about all kinds of products, programs, services and experiences that all come with a single, overarching promise.
They all promise to help you grow your business.
I mean, I can’t be the only one sorting through half a dozen sales emails in my inbox, and scrolling past countless ads in my social feeds every single day, right?
And if you’ve been in business for a little while, you know the world of creative entrepreneurship is actually pretty small. So, eventually we all start getting promotions and/or recommendations from the thought leaders, influencers and business friends we already know, like and trust.
Because of this, it can be extremely tough to decide what you should actually invest in to grow your business.
Still, if you want to stay in business, then you have to be able to filter through these promotions, recommendations and opportunities. It’s important to decide which offers you should invest in right now to help you take your business to the next level.
In this post, I’ll talk about three great investments you can make for your business. But the point here is help you understand the right time to make each investment so that you don’t have to stress about where to spend money as you grow.
First, Invest In Business-Building Workshops
Buying an online course or program to help you develop your skills when you’re first starting out is a good way to go.
Investing in a live workshop is even better. These experiences give you an opportunity to develop your skills while building connections with potential clients/customers/business friends.
Make sure you get a big bang for your buck by choosing a workshop that will teach you specific skills or strategies you need to know right now, to take your business to the next level (or to get it off the ground).
Learn a skill or strategy that will help do something like create better quality offers, make more sales or enhance your client/customer experience. This will allow you to see a tangible return on your investment.
Next, Invest In Your Website
Even as a designer, I don’t think your website is necessarily the first thing you should invest in as a new business owner. (Shocking, I know.)
Let’s say you’re a photographer who’s just starting out. You could spend $5,000 to have someone custom-build the most amazing site for you. And sure, you might get a ton of clients to book right when you launch your new site. But if you haven’t developed top-notch skills to match your fancy new website, you probably won’t have a lot of success in the long run.
Additionally, if you’re brand new, many of your first clients will likely be personal referrals who probably won’t look at your site anyway. So, make sure you have the skills to “wow” those people right from the start. That way, you’ll continue getting referrals, and then you’ll have money to invest in your site down the road — when it really matters.
If you’ve been in business for a while and you’re looking to take things to the next level, having an updated and user-friendly site is definitely important. But, that doesn’t always mean you need a brand new site. Depending on the quality of your current site, simply having someone audit or tweak it can make a huge difference, for the fraction of the cost.
Then, Invest In Equipment + Tools
Unless you literally can’t run your business without the specific equipment you’re looking to invest in (say, you’re a photographer who only has an iPhone), I think you should prioritize this category last.
In most cases, your skills contribute to about 90% of what makes your products, services or offers valuable to potential clients and customers.
To put it plainly, a bad photographer with the best camera is still a bad photographer.
On the other hand, a photographer with incredible skills could probably get away with using a Canon Rebel for years, before they’d need to level up their equipment.
That said, having the highest-quality equipment and tools matters most when you’re at the top of your game. But until then, I’d recommend buying only the basics.