Solopreneurs by nature – and sometimes by necessity – tend to be a thrifty lot. I resemble that remark. But make no mistake, “thrifty” should not be synonymous with “cheap.” Thriftiness is a quality that leads to smart business, but it shouldn’t get in your way of investing some of your hard-earned cash to move your business forward.
Sometimes in our quest to keep expenses in check and maximize revenue, we overlook – or ignore – functions and foundations of our business that really do deserve some investment beyond our time and the “freemium” options that are out there.
To grow a solopreneurial business and run it more effectively, there are certain administrative and operational elements that are well worth throwing some dollars and cents at. Some will give you a more credible, professional presence. Some will ensure that you’re maximizing your productivity. Some will ensure that making smart decisions.
It’s relatively easy to pick out websites that were “home grown” using a freemium platform. Unless you’re a website designer, my advice is to invest in a professional to create yours so you make the right online impression.
From tax preparation to bookkeeping, consider getting professional help with these to some degree. Unless you’re in the field or have some serious business accounting background, you don’t know it all. And that can cost you in the long run. Note that you don’t have to go all or nothing, either. For example, you could contract someone to help you set up and train you on Quickbooks, but then manage your entries and reconciliations yourself.
I think a lot of solopreneurs miss out on opportunities because they don’t want to fork out the dough to join local business organizations like Chambers of Commerce. No, the investment doesn’t pay for itself after one or two mixers. But with repeat, regular attendance at events, you’ll build familiarity and trust. And THAT will lead to project opportunities and referrals.
Your Social Media Tools
If you’re active – or want to be active – on a variety of social networking platforms, efficiency and planning is the key to being able to maintain consistency. There are tools out there that offer free versions, but those often have limitations in terms of number of posts you can schedule or accounts that you can manage. If your social media success is hindered by a tool that’s not giving you as much flexibility and capacity as you need, check into upgrading to a premium version that offers more. Personally, I use Hootsuite and upgraded to their Pro version about a year ago. At $5.99 per month, it has paid for itself and then some in the amount of time it saves me.
If you’re just starting out as a solopreneur or are cash-strapped at the moment (it happens to all of us!), be judicious about what you spend your money on. But do keep an open mind – and wallet – and consider investing in things that will help you get your business off the ground and lay a foundation for success.
Your turn! What investments have you made in professional services and tools for your business?
Image courtesy of jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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