Ways to Invest in yourself and your business
I wrote this post on Monday night during a spell of insomnia. I also did my 17/18 personal tax return, slightly complicated as I have a personal and Ltd company return to prepare. Both have different financial years. Anyways I am super proud of this post. Investing in yourself and your business is incredible.
Building Your Own Business
Building your own business is an incredible experience. It is something you have built yourself, your baby of a business, often built from nothing. Built from a passion, that one brilliant idea that you have real enthusiasm for. Indeed, you need that passion to grow that business, to power you through the late nights/early mornings, 14 hour days. But you also need some business acumen, business advice and guidance.
You need to know your finances, control your costs, manage you cash flow. You need to understand that turnover is fake, profit is real. And an important part of growing your business is knowing when to invest.
Using retained earnings
You are doing well and you building up a nice retained earning pot. This is the difference between your earnings, business expenses and the salary you take from your business. The ideal situation is to reinvest these retained earning wisely to increase your turnover.
I am in this situation now. In March I had a chunk of retained earnings, but we also needed a new car, 2 new cars in fact. I took £4,500 of my retained earnings and invested it into deposits for two cars on PCP deals. The big deposit vastly reduced the monthly repayments. We now have economic and environmentally friendly hybrid cars that save us £100 per month in fuel. And save the environment. Win Win.
Investing in New Equipment
Now in May I am using money to invest in the efficiency of the business and in myself. I have done three things. Firstly, I have upgraded my equipment, I have bought a new laptop and a new mobile phone. The laptop replaces my three-year-old model I bought when I first set up my limited company. And it was £650 included virus protection and cloud storage. I also upgraded (early thank you EE Hitchin) to a very good Samsung S9+ phone. The photo and video quality are amazing, and my Instagram game will be vastly improved along with the photography on my blog.
Investment in Staff
I have a team of people to help with the running of Mrs Mummypenny. Firstly, I have a super-efficient Virtual Assistant. I say virtual as she lives miles away, but we communicate via Facebook messenger, the phone, email, our google drive. She is also a blogger so gets everything I do. My rule is if I don’t enjoy doing an essential task and a task takes too much time I will outsource it.
Building Products and working with a coach
I have wanted to create my own products based on my experience and knowledge for a long time. I started this process back in 2016 when I wrote and self-published blogging your way to riches. This carried on with the introduction of my one-off blog/social pricing coaching session in January 2018.
I am now working with a sales funnel coach and am creating very exciting new products. The first product is live and available now on my website. I am offering a group coaching course – ‘60 days to make more money from your blog’. I want to work with a small group of bloggers together over an 8-week period to focus and really help you to value your blog and make much more money from your blog. The first beta course launches on 4th June, drop me a line or Facebook message me if you are interested in finding out more.
This project has taken investment, but also provides a significant return. And I am getting the technical support to achieve this goal.
Working with Mentors and Marketing Experts
I have the best network in the world. My 16 years spent in the corporate world meant I met some incredible business minds. And we have kept in touch. From Heather the cognitive hypnotherapist (who helped me to lose 3 stone and keep it off) to Anita, who still still works at EE, but has the most incredible marketing and commercial mind (and helped to come up with the name Mrs Mummypenny 5 years ago). Another strong connection was with Andrew who was head of digital sales, I worked for him at Orange PAYG Sales Mgr around 9 years ago. He has since moved onto News International and Amazon and has incredible business/marketing commercial knowledge and experience. And he is helping me with Mrs Mummypenny. The strategy, products, direction, contract negotiation. I am incredibly grateful. In return he gets to come to Aldi & Amazon Christmas in July with me;-)
Investment in Myself
And finally, I am investing in myself. I have booked a creative writing workshop that I found via Psychologies magazine for July. I am off to the houses of parliament for a visit and day out with the Federation of Small Business in June. Self-development books are bought at least once a month. Most recent purchases being Crush it! by Gary Vay Ner Chuk, thanks for the recomendation Pete Matthew and Damien Fahy. A story of taking your passion and turning it into a business. Also, the mindfulness journal by Corinne Sweet, just to help with the constant overwhelm of busy times.
The cost of this investment
I have spent around £5,000 on these investment pieces. All funded from my retained earnings. I made the decision to invest this money rather than pay off my consumer debt in full. For the greater good and much more income will result from these investment decisions.
It’s a cycle do you see? Build up the retained earning and reinvest sensibly into things that will provide you with a greater return on income. As time progresses with my business I understand much more what will provide me with a good return on income. Just like I can talk to clients and explain how working with me will provide a highly positive return on income.
But what if you don’t have any retained earnings?
This is the point where investment comes in. Is there an angel investor who might lend you money for a share in your business and their guidance? Are you ready to give away a share of your business? Maybe you have a family member or friend who is willing to lend you some money, given a repayment plan is put into place. You could get a small business loan; the government provides many great schemes where you can get a very low interest loan for early business set up costs and investment.
I chose not to take either of these options. My start-up costs and expenses from year one when my turnover was low were funded by a consumer interest free credit card. A very cheap form of business lending but relying on my personal credit rating.
Other interesting investment decisions
I work closely with many other small business people and am fascinated by their growth plans. A few successful bloggers have moved into their own office space. A great idea to separate the home life from work life as many people in my world often merge their work and personal life and it causes issues. Although I struggle to see a return on income from office space? It works when you have real (non virtual) staff 100%.
Employment of others. After the employment of freelance staff comes the employment of permanent PAYE staff. Employing an apprentice is such a brilliant idea, particularly in this blog/advertising/social media world. The impact of a person much younger, fresh and creative would have a huge impact on the strategy of the business.
Employment of mums. There are hundreds of mums in my village of Knebworth alone who have previous corporate careers and the most amazing skills but left that world to raise their children. They are now keen to reuse those skills but need a flexible job where they can work around the children. Businesses SHOULD tap into this skill set and use this underutilised skill set.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it has inspired you to invest in yourself for a greater return from your business. If you have thoughts and ideas please share them.