Be Afraid to Spend Money on Your Business
by Janice D. Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services
Most businesses have a budget and need to stick to
it as much as possible. However, not everyone will include products and
services in their budget that they may feel they can do without if they can
get something similar, somewhere else, for free.
We have all downloaded free software or tried to
get other products and services for our businesses that will not cost us
anything but there comes a time when we need to realize that we need to spend
some money, not always a ton of money, to help build our businesses. We need
to invest in our businesses.
I will admit that when I was in the start-up phase
of my business, I did try everything in my power to get something for nothing.
I would spend time searching the internet for free software, seminars, books
or ebooks, web hosting, etc. I even considered pirated software and knock-offs
but soon learned that you generally get exactly what you pay for. Did you know
that pirated software producers have a way of putting code into the software
to track your movements and that code can actually harm your computer?
Unfortunately, I learned the hard way on that one.
I am not saying that you can’t get some products
or services for free that will help improve your business. For instance, we
all have some form of Instant Messaging software and generally they are free.
They help us keep in touch with our clients and contacts and are usually a
much better value than other software that we can get for free.
Also, some newsletters offer a wealth of
information that can help our businesses to grow and you can subscribe to them
for free, including my newsletter at http://www.docutype.net/news.htm.
Marketing your business can usually be done with
little or no cost as well. Writing articles, putting them on your website and
submitting to online directories requires very little, just your time and
effort. Networking can also be just a matter of time. There are some events
that have a fee but if it means that we can make some good contacts, it is
well worth the money spent.
There are so many other avenues that we can follow
to help educate us, increase our exposure and build our businesses and
although some of them will have a cost associated to them, we shouldn’t feel
they are not affordable. We may think that we really don’t have the budget to
spend on products or services for our businesses but sometimes we should or we
could be missing out on a valuable asset to our business. We need to invest in
our businesses to help them grow. We don’t have to break our banks on most
options but keep in mind that not everything is free.
Investing in new computer equipment or other
big-ticket items are not what I mean. These are a necessity to most businesses
these days and I hope you understand that this money needs to be spent on high
quality in order to get the best results. We will regret it if we decide to go
the cheap route on such items.
What I am referring to is the products and
services that we may think we can do without. They can include the latest
software; newest technology; seminars; trade shows; conventions; association
memberships; a professionally designed website; coaching help; sub-contracting
help; subscriptions to publications; books/ebooks; advertising; professionally
designed business cards; and even a little help with our office tasks. These
are just some of the assets to our companies that we may not consider to be
valuable or that we think we just can’t afford.
However, these are investments in our businesses
that will map out our futures.
Sure, we can all print our own business cards but
have you seen how the ink runs on ink jet printed business cards when they get
There are free publications which are huge assets
to our companies but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t invest in subscribing
to paid newsletters and magazines that offer information to help us learn and
There are seminars and teleclasses that are
available that are free and can be quite valuable but there are also some
tremendous ones that we may be missing out on if we don’t want to pay a fee to
Then there are the larger investments such as the
opportunity to exhibit in a trade show or at a convention. There needs to be a
lot of thought made regarding whether it will benefit us and our businesses
and if the cost is reasonable (as it is in normal circumstances) or way out of
our reach. If there is the slightest chance that there will be attendees in
our target market or that the attendees know or work with those in our target
market, we need to seriously consider the investment. It could mean more
clients or more valuable contacts, not to mention the exposure.
Advertising is also something that many of us are
leery about spending money on. Again, you need to think who the target
audience is and if you will benefit by sending your message to these readers
or viewers. Don’t be afraid to advertise. You may be pleasantly surprised by
Eventually, we wear out our welcome (so to speak)
for the free resources and it is time to invest some money in our future. The
old adage, “you need to spend money to make money”, may seem cliché but we
have to remember that we may be missing out on some wonderful information and
opportunities if we insist on keeping our wallets in our pockets. Not to
mention, spending money on products and services for our businesses is a valid