5 things you should be considering an investment rather than a marketing cost
Sitting in a café with a group of friends last week, we got talking about the costs of living. All of us have school age children or younger, and all are either currently involved in, or have been involved in some form of extra-curricular activity for their child.
The main thread of the conversation was how expensive these activities were, and how when money got tight, they were usually the first things to go. I found myself quickly disagreeing with this logic. In fact, out of the six friends sitting around the table, I was the only one who considered these extra-curricular activities to be an investment in my children rather than a household expense.
Later that night, with the conversation still fresh, I got thinking about a former client. An eccentric and wonderfully creative children’s clothing maker, whom I was helping refine her brand. She’d desperately wanted postcards designed and printed, to place inside her online orders but her accountant (also her husband) had talked her out of it. He said it was unnecessary.
He considered this a marketing cost, an impractical whimsical want. What’s interesting about this story is that on my own fridge at home I have a postcard from another children’s clothing maker. It’s a beautiful image, branded subtly with their logo and contact details. Due to their constant presence in my home, I buy from this store seasonally.
It’s difficult to measure your ROI on investments like postcards placed into parcels. I can say for certain, it’s unlikely I would have continued to shop at this store if not for its constant presence on my fridge.
1. Words and Information - Content
If you are reading this then you’re off to a good start! Books, columns, articles and blogs are all forms of content. Whether you buy them or borrow them, time invested in reading and learning is always rewarded.
2. Quality Marketing Materials
Like the postcards I talked about above, quality marketing materials can set the tone for your business. A well thought out and designed business image with high quality printing is more likely to be retained and remembered, rather than tossed out.
It’s often difficult to get owners to see a software purchase for their business as an investment. But software is one of those things where your ROI is easy to track via reporting. Purchasing the right software package for your business can streamline process, increase efficiency and make some of the more arduous manual processes obsolete.
Like consuming content, education in the form of seminars, webinars and coaching is a huge investment in your business. You need to learn before you can earn. Educational events are a great place to network with other likeminded individuals whom may become clients or refer quality leads.
The ‘cost’ of hiring staff, particularly marketing and sales staff is a phrase we hear often. Depending on the way you are structured, your staff may be the first point of contact clients and customers have with your business. Investing in quality staff and their education is essential not only to effectively run your business but to experience growth.
That day at the café I challenged my friends to change the way they viewed their children’s activities. To stop using the word ‘cost’ and start seeing them as an investment in the health, happiness and education of their growing child.
And I challenge you to do the same with your business. Whenever you find yourself writing an opportunity off as a cost, I want you to stop and consider the possibility that this cost just might be your next great investment.
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About the contributor:
Lee is an Entrepreneur, Mother and Blogger. Together with her husband, they co-founded and co-direct a software company, Lasso Systems and a hardware company Lasso Computers. Although the Lasso group are her main focus right now, she also own and run, and is an adviser and board member to several other small-medium businesses. Lee is passionate about her family, small business and writing. She is documenting her journey on her blog Business Makes Three. Website: https://businessmakesthree.wordpress.com