If you’re running your own business, you will certainly have to spend money on it – it’s not a case of whether you’re going to but when and how. You need to spend money to hire staff, for vital resources like premises and computers, for stock, for expansion and for expertise.
The most important thing is to achieve a return on your investment – to spend money in a way that makes you more money in the future.
One good way to spend money, that strengthens your business and gives you more and better options in the future, is to invest in consults. Especially for young businesses and startups, they can be an injection of experience and expertise that is normally well beyond your budget.
It’s important to have clear goals and know exactly what you want to get out of the consulting relationship: it can be a way to spend a lot of money quickly to no great effect if you aren’t careful.
Consulting firms tend to cluster in large cities, so if you look in London strategy consulting, management consultancy and growth hacking firms all abound.
One of the highest priorities of any business is to grow: growth creates both stability and new opportunities, and it shouldn’t be neglected even if running a big business isn’t an ambition for you. You need to focus on growth to a certain extent merely to stay still in a rapidly changing market.
To grow you need to spend money: on marketing, on new premises and staff, on developing or sourcing new products, on logistics and fulfilment, but the promised rewards are much greater revenues. You need to be careful though: growth can overbalance a business. If you don’t ensure your logistics side is up to your new level of custom you risk not being able to fulfil orders and getting a bad reputation for disappointing customers. When you decide to invest in growth, make sure you’re ready.
One way you can help your growth go as you’d like is to invest in research – about market conditions, about the customers you’re selling to, and about what your competitors are planning. Market research helps you tune your offer to what your customers most want and are most likely to buy, and competitor research helps you avoid trying to launch new products or whole new locations at the same time as a competitor is planning a similar initiative.
Investing in finding the white space in the market to launch something your customers will really be tempted by is a good way to spend your money!