I’m sure, as an entrepreneur, you are familiar with budgeting. But what about budgeting for business growth? While traditional budgeting is essential, it’s time to take it up a notch by adopting a different mindset – one that understands how to manage time, money, and resources, not just current cash flow. With years of experience in responsible money management, I know the significance of investing in your business as an entrepreneur.
In this episode of Shop Talk, “Budgeting For Business Growth,” I give you the honest truth about what it takes to truly succeed. Are you willing to invest in yourself, your business, and your future? Hustling alone won’t lead to sustainable growth. I’ve been there, and I know the pitfalls. It takes a real commitment that lays the foundation for your success.
If you’re here to bet on yourself, check out this episode. Even if you need some support, don’t worry – I’ve got your back. If you’re ready to take that leap and achieve entrepreneurial success, I’m here to support you as Your Marketing Coach. Let’s make your dreams a reality.
Budgeting is a fundamental aspect of managing finances. However, when it comes to achieving significant growth and success, creating a financial plan might not be enough. Instead of budgeting for business management, you need to budget for small business growth.
What’s the difference?
Traditional budgeting focuses on creating a financial plan that outlines how a business will allocate its cash flow. And while you should definitely do that, today I want to talk about budgeting for growth.
Budgeting for growth goes beyond being fiscally responsible with the money you generate. Budgeting for growth:
- Requires a different mindset
- It requires managing your time, money, and resources (not just your current cash flow)
You may or may not be aware, but before I started Your Marketing Coach, I worked in the finance industry. I helped Main Street, middle America, with their personal finances. In the 8 years I worked in that industry, I helped hundreds of people put together a budget to help them get out of debt, pay off their homes, save for retirement, and send their kids to college. This has given me years of experience in responsible money management.
That said, business budgeting is its own ballgame because it requires a different mindset if you want to grow. It’s not about managing what you have per se but about making hard (and oftentimes scary) decisions, taking chances, and investing in things that can help you get unstuck and grow.
So, today, I want to do some real talk about investing in your business as an entrepreneur.
Why You Can’t Skimp on Business Investments
Here’s what I believe: if you decide to invest in yourself and your business based on your current cash flow (whether it’s zero dollars, thousands of dollars a month, or even millions), you are setting yourself up for failure. Here’s why…
First, let me talk to the people that are just getting started on their entrepreneurial journey. There has never been a better time to start a business than today. More tools and resources are available to create and use in your business than ever before. Things that used to cost businesses thousands of dollars (maybe even hundreds of thousands) are now available to you for just a few dollars a month (and often even free!).
Here are a few examples:
- You can build your own website for free with website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.
- You can start invoicing and collecting client payments using free services from PayPal and Stripe.
- CRM and email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Keap, and HubSpot offer free (or low-cost) software solutions that you can use to keep track of prospects and customers to communicate with them and nurture the relationship.
And the list goes on and on.
The problem with all these free tools is that many new entrepreneurs get the impression that you don’t have to invest in your business to make money and grow. The truth is, you do have to be willing to invest in your business (and yourself) if you want to succeed. You have to invest your time, money, and resources.
The Downpayment that Fuels Business Success
Starting a business is like buying a new home. Everyone knows you have to provide a down payment when you buy a house. This initial financial investment demonstrates your commitment and serves as the foundation for owning something (in this case, your home). When you start a business, it’s the same. Your down payment (aka investments) demonstrates your commitment to building your business. It overall plays a vital role in budgeting for small business growth.
When Hustling Isn’t Enough to Grow a Thriving Business
Now, I’m not saying you can’t start a business and hustle your way to a good income. I am a testament to this. I started my business 10 years ago, flat broke, with a $20 Staples Coupon and a free 30-day trial for Wix. I grew my business the first year to $120k and the second year to $250k. And then I got stuck.
Don’t get me wrong, $250k a year is a great income as a solopreneur. But let me tell you what was happening behind the scenes…
In the beginning, I was just ecstatic to be finally making money. But I did everything in the business. I wore every hat. I answered every call. Completed every project. Managed my books. Did every sales call. Set up every project. Did all the webinars myself. You get the point.
I literally worked 7 days a week from 15 – 17 hours a day. Gained a bunch of weight. My health declined. And I eventually began to resent my business and, honestly, hate my life.
Then one day, a few years into starting my business, I got an email inviting me to become part of a coaching program. The investment was $16,000. I knew in my heart that I’d given my business everything I had to give. I read as many blogs and books as I could get my hands on. I was taking every online program I could sign up for. But I was stuck. I needed real help.
I told my husband about the program and investment, and he said, “You know what you need. I trust you. Just do it.”
Proving Your Commitment to Business Growth
Now, someone I know is thinking, “See, that’s it. That’s the reason why I’m not doing well. That’s the reason why I don’t invest more in my business. My spouse doesn’t support me like that.”
Let’s talk about that for a minute. Want to know how you get that level of support? Here’s what you need to know about me. I do what I say I’m going to do. I show up. I fight. I have grit. I hustle. I’ve proven to my husband and (most importantly) to myself that I believe in myself.
Does that mean I’ve reached all my goals? That I’ve never failed? That I’ve never fallen short? No. I have failed. I have fallen short. I’ve set goals I haven’t hit.
But my husband knows that I will fight with all my might to the end.
My question to you is, does your husband/spouse/significant other see you fighting? And more importantly, have you shown yourself that you are a fighter? That you show up. That you’re willing to do what it takes?
You get support when you show up – when you fight – when they see you doing everything you can to push through hard things. You don’t get support when you blame, complain, and stay stuck.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how that mindset will help you grow your business.
Essential Strategies for Monetary Investments
I’ll say it again: budgeting for small business growth requires managing your time, money, and resources. If you think you can build a business without making significant investments, you are setting yourself up for failure.
What are the things you have to invest in? Monetarily you need to invest in:
- Yourself – through coaching and training programs
- Creating awareness through advertising to get your business in front of your target audience. There are many ways to do this, but I recommend 5 key strategies:
- Facebook Ads
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing (SEO)
- Speaking Opportunities (Facebook Lives, Webinars, On Stage, Podcasting, Etc.)
- Sponsorship Opportunites
If you are a coach, consultant, and online course creator (the community of entrepreneurs we serve) and you don’t have a coach yourself, you are a fraud. Before you get pissed off, let me explain.
How can you be a coach, tell clients you believe in coaching, and sell coaching – if you don’t have one yourself? You can’t.
The Power of Self-Investment
Here’s the deal, if you are struggling to build your business and make the money you want, it is because you don’t believe in what you offer. So, if you don’t have a coach, are not investing in a coach, or are not willing to invest in one, this shows that you don’t believe in what you do. You don’t recognize the value coaches offer because you’re unwilling to invest in it yourself.
Bottom line? You’re not buying your own service first. And that’s a huge problem. You wonder why you can’t convert people because you don’t believe in what you do.
In fact, recently, I was on a call with one of my mindset coaches and said, “I’ve invested about $100,000 in coaching/training programs over the last couple of years.”
I’m not sharing this to brag. I’m sharing this because I know I need help in multiple areas of my business and life. Getting help through coaching will help me shift my business and life. I know I don’t know everything, so I need to be accountable to someone other than myself.
How Coaching Fuels Business Growth
Ask yourself right now. What do you need help with? Based on your answers, get a coach to help you immediately. The sooner you prove that you believe in what you sell, the more you’ll attract clients. Your confidence will increase, you’ll make more money, and your business will grow.
Now let’s talk about making investments in time.
Time: The Ultimate Resource to Invest or Squander
I recently shared a social media post: “I don’t have time is the adult version of ‘I don’t want to – and you can’t make me.’ “
Seriously, stop saying you don’t have time. Let me share why this is ridiculous. We all have the same amount of time. Some spend it – some invest it.
If you say you want/need more clients, then I’m curious, how will you fit them into your schedule? How can you serve your new clients if you don’t have time?
If your child called you right now saying they broke their arm and needed to go to the emergency room, would you take care of that? You see? It’s not that you don’t have time. It’s that you’re spending your time on things that don’t matter.
I say this all the time. “If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” You will always find a way to make room for things that matter. I think we’d all agree on that.
But I’m NOT saying that writing that blog, recording that video, or making that sales call isn’t important because you aren’t prioritizing it. That’s a different issue. That’s you letting fear control you, your business, your life, and your actions.
Humans are wired to do the easy things first. I don’t know why, but I know it’s true.
Maybe they want to feel a sense of accomplishment. Maybe they just want to knock a few things off their never-ending list so they feel like they are making progress. But I don’t think it’s that. From what I’ve experienced in coaching thousands of people over the years is that when someone isn’t doing the thing they KNOW they should be doing – it’s fear.
They are afraid it won’t be good.
They are afraid it will be uncomfortable.
They are afraid they will look stupid.
They are afraid it won’t work.
The fear list is LONG!!!!
Here’s the deal. The best way to overcome your list of fears is to work with someone who can help you. You have enough time. That’s an excuse to cover up the real thing holding you back.
Uncovering Resources to Invest in Your Business Growth
Now let’s talk about how to find the money you need to invest in yourself and your business:
- Sell your stuff: Focus on selling personal items you don’t use or need and cut back on frivolous spending.
- Retirement funds: I know this seems counterintuitive since it feels like you have worked hard to save for retirement up until this point. But the truth is that most people don’t have enough money saved for retirement. Instead of letting that money sit there, why not invest in the life you deserve?
- Credit Cards: I have an Amex card with an unlimited limit. This may seem a little risky for entrepreneurs, but investing it into areas of your business that are worthwhile – that you need for growth – will be worth it.
- Business Loan: You can get business loans from services like Pay Pal, Small Business Alliance, and American Express Business Blueprint. We are actually looking into offering financing to our clients as well to help them get the investments they need to move forward. People say to me all the time, “I would love to hire you guys, but I don’t have the money.” Yes, you do. You have resources available to you. You need to tap into them.
- Get a job (full or part-time): Another thing you can do (and I know this is an ego punch) is get a job. You can get a part-time or full-time job; You can even keep your full-time job and operate your business part-time until you feel comfortable. There’s no shame in that. A job is a wonderful way to get free money – with no interest charges. You get to use that money to invest in your business, but you need to make the investment.
- Household income: Look into whatever household income you can tap into with your significant other or spouse. Show them that you are worth the investment.
If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
Bet on Yourself: The Winning Strategy for Entrepreneurial Success
Here’s what I know. You can’t give your business 50% effort and expect a 100% reward. You have to be willing to budget for business growth by budgeting your time, money, and resources.
There’s only one situation where you shouldn’t invest…and that’s when you’re not willing to do what it takes. When you’re not willing to do the work.
I don’t know about you, but I will ALWAYS bet on me.
I hope that you feel the same – otherwise, you should hire me as Your Marketing Coach 🙂