Expenses vs. Investments – A Mindset Shift

As small business owners who are not only responsible for ourselves and our families, but our employees and their families as well, it’s no wonder we keep our eyes on every dollar that comes in and goes out of our businesses. Hopefully we all have a good grip on our numbers (balance sheet, P&L, and yearly budget updated on a monthly basis) and everything is trending in the right direction towards a healthy net profit.

There are a few simple ways to grow your bottom line when running a contracting business – increase your prices, finish your projects under budget for a little extra profitability (without cutting corners, of course) or buy frequently used items in bulk at a discounted rate.

There are also a few areas where I see business owners cut back thanks to getting “tripped up” when considering if something is an “expense” or an “investment.” The first is with marketing, most of which should be looked at as an investment strategy, but more on that in a future post.

The second is with investing in themselves. I posted on LinkedIn a little while back about how ALL athletes have coaches, especially the GOAT’s, but the same isn’t true when it comes to business owners. Many busy business owners, especially those in the thick of it all, look at hiring a coach or a consultant as an expense, and often one they can’t afford right now. Unfortunately, RIGHT NOW is when you need the coach or consultant the MOST. So, I’m encouraging you to flip the script on how you look at hiring outside help – as an investment in the future success of your business.

Depending on what you need help with, that “future” could be mere weeks away, or maybe a few months out for a larger issue that needs a bit more time and attention. Either way, the sooner you get started, the sooner you get to cross the finish line and reap the rewards of your investment.

And if you think you can’t measure the ROI of hiring a coach or consultant in dollars, think about what an hour of your time is worth (especially if you’re the salesperson) and then how much you’ll be saving if you streamline your daily operations or tackle that big issue that just keeps coming back up. As a consultant, I live by the motto that “the fastest way to get something done is to slow down,” and help others see the logic in hitting pause, solving a recurring problem, then hitting play again with some new tools and strategies at your fingertips.

If you, or your business could  benefit from working with a coach or consultant, I highly encourage you to set aside some time on your schedule and some money in your budget to accelerate your growth. Then find someone who’s been where you are and now has what you want, and use their experience to help you avoid the common pitfalls of streamlining or scaling your business. When it comes to marketing, the saying goes “you have to spend money to make money” and the same is true for personal and professional growth. But guess what, you’re worth it.

P.S. – It’s also important to find someone who’s a good fit for you. There are plenty of coaches and consultants to choose from, but working with someone who aligns well with your style and your goals will make the process smooth and hopefully enjoyable. If you’d like to learn more about my style and see if we’d be a good fit, you can schedule a free discovery call here.

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