This acronym is part of what helps businesses to develop, grow and expand.
Investing in business takes many different forms. Time, finance, education, expansion to name just a few. To be successful at business usually requires a combination of all of the above and more. Many new business owners find that their time is swallowed up as they invest in growing their fledgling business, then their finances are curtailed as they re-invest a huge chunk of any profits into the business, educating themselves and their employees so as to have knowledgeable staff who will invest in the growth of the business – and so the cycle continues.
New ideas are a necessary part of any business. They might well be something that is old hat to other businesses however, to your business it could be something you have never even considered before. A famous yogurt company brought out the novel idea of adding a corner mini pot of jam to add to the yogurt and targeted it as a luxury decadent item for busy Mums, a sweet company whose mint had a hole in it at one point started selling the “holes” – the cut out part as mini-mints. They took the time and invested in testing a new idea with their market. What new ideas have you buried or shelved because you didn’t want to look stupid or didn’t like the sound of them? Can they be tested now to check their viability?
Value along with cash is very much king these days. If a customer feels they are not getting value for their money they are likely to walk and talk. The talking is likely to do a lot more damage than the walking as that might help other customers to walk too – right to your competition. I’m not a fan of giving something for free I really believe that while people like free they don’t value it and it then becomes disposable, I prefer to add extra value to what I have on offer instead, that way they feel like they are getting more without the feeling of having to pay for more. I know a lot of people will disagree with that, however it really comes down to the type of business you have and how you sell it.
Endless. Someone I know who had started a business, once asked me “When does all the investing in marketing, advertising, growth, up-skilling stop?” and looked completely horrified when I said that to me it was endless, there would always be some form of investing required. They had the notion that after a couple of years, about five to be exact, that they could sit back and start to take it easy and stop investing in their business, with the exception of advertising and start rewarding themselves with pretty big bonuses instead. A business, like a person is an entity that need continuous investing of some sort to survive and grow, so be prepared to continue to invest in it throughout your business’s life.
Successful investment pays dividends. These are the things we as business owners continually do over and over again to help our business. Some companies invest a lot of time and effort into recruiting the right type of employee, others into getting the right type of systems in place. When you look at your business and how it runs where do you see room for improvement, what type of investment will it take for that improvement to become a reality?
Trial and error. Some businesses love the idea of getting outside investors into their business, with the idea giving a percentage of the ownership in return for the knowledge and skills that will help the business grow, others are appalled at it. There are many different ways to use investors, it is simply a matter of looking around and deciding on the best type for you. It could be in the form of a mentor, finance, training. You pick what works and test it out then apply it. Remember just because it doesn’t work now, does not mean that it won’t work at a later date.
What forms of investing have you been involved in and how have they worked for you? Do you have a successful investment experience to share, or maybe a bad investment experience that you learnt from?