When we’re starting out on our new business adventure, chances are we have more time than money to spend. But we also need to spend money to make money. This is a tricky spot to be in and can cause a lot of stress. What can we spend time on instead of spending money on? And what monetary investments are more likely to pay off?
I was chatting with my colleague Lindsey about where to spend and where to save. She asked me if I’ve ever gone onto my phone to have a look at the subscriptions I’m paying for monthly. She did, and she was shocked at what she found. In her mind it was just a little meditation app here, 2-3 music apps there, a book app, the cheap arcade games on iTunes, and so on. They all added up to a lot of money that she didn’t even realize she was spending.
Every dollar counts when you’re revving up your business, so you’ve got to make sure those dollars are going to good use.
Here's Where You Probably Have Enough Time
There are quite a few ways to save money early on in your business adventure. Educating yourself on what services are available for free is the first step. Let’s check out some ways that you can spend your time wisely while saving your money!
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) can be a fabulous way of marketing your new business. You can use it to:
Advertise for free!
Find your target audience
Connect with potential customers
Conduct market research
A lot of people feel like they need to hire someone to run their social media because they find it overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. Don’t overthink it. Keep it simple and straightforward, and let it work for you.
A few tips to get you started:
Do your own posting! Be yourself. Infuse your personality. People want to connect with the business/owners just as much as they want to connect to a product or service. Start with a goal of 2 posts per week.
Quick engagement goes a long way. When you write a post, be sure to follow up with any comments or questions that people wrote. Engage with them. Ask them a question, tell them a fun fact, and joke with them. Simply engaging with your customers will make them feel special, valued, and important.
Use the free version of the Canva app to create beautiful post layouts. Playing around on Canva can be a lot of fun- it allows you to flex some creative muscle making your own customized posts.
Nix the Subscription-Based Services (at least for now)
It’s easy to get sucked into an ad for a must-have shiny new subscription app to make your business "stand out from the crowd." Resist the temptation! There are plenty of free apps that allow you to take care of your business without spending your money.
Some of my go to options for free services are:
Waveapp for invoicing and accounting support
Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets for income and expense tracking
Wix/Squarespace for free web design templates (you're reading this on Wix)
Google Drive for organizing files
Trello for project management
Instead of spending money, spend your time doing some research. Join a Small Business FB group and ask what free services your peers are using. Start saving money right from the get-go.
What I Recommend Investing In
Let’s dive right into a couple of opportunities where you could spend your money that will make a significant impact on your business.
I know, I know. You're probably rolling your eyes. "Of course, the copywriter thinks I should spend money on copywriter services!"
But here's the thing. I invested in a course to help me learn to write copy when I started this business 3 years ago. And I've continued learning along the way.
There's a lot that goes into marketing writing that doesn't necessarily come naturally. It's a skill you either need to learn for yourself, find someone to help you figure it out, or pay someone to do it for you.
When you're first starting out, the first task for most business owners in the digital age is writing your website. From there, it just gets more complicated: ads, social posts, email funnels, blogs... Finding the right words to convey your product or service to your potential customers is probably where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck (in other words: Return on Investment).
A good copywriter will swoop in with their superhero cape and give you a fresh perspective to offer help and support when you’re struggling to write your own copy. Here's what we do:
Get to know you and your business inside and out
Learn (or help you create) your brand tone
Help you develop resonating copy that aligns with your core values
Drive your bottom line (making you money)!
If your copywriting is on point, you will sell more of your product or service. As my 13 year old says, "That's just facts." Here's how to tell whether you have the skills to do your own copywriting:
Some people absolutely do! Natural writers or those trained to write persuasive copy can definitely write their own compelling copy. If you're unsure, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Will my copy pass the 1st and 7th grader tests? (Can I briefly describe my content to a 1st grader in a way they’ll understand it? Can I explain the ‘why’ behind my content to a 7th grader?)
Am I getting positive feedback from neutral third parties? (Not a partner, family, or close friends, but people who don’t necessarily care if you succeed or not). Are they saying things like “Woah!” or “I need this and I’m not even the target market!” or “Your writing is so compelling!”
Will it take me less than 2 weeks to publish my writing? Spending forever on one piece of a giant project is a classic sign of procrastination and perfectionism. If you can’t hit play on your website (or any other piece) in a short period of time, hire help! You'll get to the money-making phase much faster and more easily!
If you need to, spend money on help with your copy. It’s worth it.
It is such an amazing feeling having someone in your corner! My coach cheers me on, advises me, and pushes me to be the best I can be. I couldn't recommend the experience any more highly!
There are a ton of different kinds of coaches out there to help you with your business goals. By finding the right one, you’ll quickly find out that they are most definitely worth the money invested.
Coaches help you:
Improve performance and profitability within your business
Create a clear roadmap of where you want to go
Grow your self-confidence
Learn when to take risks and what the benefits are
Bonus- they can be inspiring, hilarious, and fun to work with. Basically, your own personal cheerleader.
Find a coach that aligns with you and your values and dive right in, headfirst. You’ll be so grateful you did.
So, What Do You Think?
I advocate for you to spend your time AND your money wisely. Do you think these tips and tricks will give you a head start on building your business? What do you agree -- and disagree! -- with?
Are you ready to work together?