The recession impacted us all. Even if your business profits weren’t directly affected, you’ll no doubt be aware of the frugality of business in light of the tough economic conditions, with companies shying away from big investments as they attempt to save money wherever possible.
As our economy appears to brighten, it’s important that we reconsider this behaviour. Spending isn’t the enemy and investments where warranted can reap rewards.
Sometimes, you must speculate to accumulate…
Know When to Take a Risk
Nobody wants to take unnecessary risks. Whether you’re a director at a large blue chip corporation of the owner of a small, local business, the choices you make impact your business’ bottom line and it’s important to ensure those choices are good.
British Olympic champion Ben Hunt-Davis has written a great book called ‘Will It Make the Boat Go Faster’. In it, Hunt-Davis explains how he and his Olympic rowing team approached not only their training regime, but all of their choices in the run up for their Olympic win in 2000.
His goal was simple; he needed to make the boat go faster. If the action in question would make the boat go faster, for example putting in an extra hour of training, he would do it. If the action in question would not make the boat go faster, he wouldn’t.
He suggests every choice you make needs to be accompanied by the question ‘will it make the boat go faster’. At Hallam, the first step is to identify exactly what are clients are trying to achieve, and how much they are willing to invest to get there. By clearly laying out your business goals, you can better assess whether the investment you’re considering will make your boat go faster.
Don’t Be Afraid to Punch Above Your Weight
It can be tempting to look at an investment opportunity and think it’s out of your league, unobtainable for some reason.
I’ve been faced with a number of these decisions over the years. Should I spend time on this proposal when I know much larger agencies are pitching for the work? Will I be able to win the clients I need to warrant the investment in more staff?
On every occasion, I’ve analysed the risk and for me, the potential reward has always been worth it. And it’s paid off for us. We now work with clients far larger than those of our peers and look forward to an office move to accommodate our ever expanding team.
Don’t be afraid to consider opportunities, even when they appear to be ‘punching above your weight’.
Of course, to know that our speculation has led to accumulation, we must monitor the outcome of any investments we make.
For us as digital marketers, that means being very clear on our goals. Are we trying, for example, to boost traffic to our website? If so, the criterion for success is a traffic increase coming from that particular activity. Are we looking for added engagement with our customers? We consider the conversation, amplification, applause model to assess how much our efforts have increased the response we get from our audience, their propensity to share our content and the positive feedback we receive.
Indeed, there is a multitude of technology and tools available for marketers looking to measure the impact of their activities; take a look at this video for more: http://hallam.co/socialmeasures
Outside of digital marketing, you still need to monitor the impact of your investments. Has that new software made a difference to the speed at which you deliver your service? Did the investment you put into product development deliver a return in terms of increased sales? Have your profits been increased?
By measuring the results of your investments, you become quicker and savvier when it comes to assessing new opportunities.
Why It’s Important to Invest Online
One of the biggest areas of investment for businesses of all sizes is online.
Investing in your online presence can be one of the best investment choices you make this year – but only if it’s done well. With Google the go-to resource for most of your potential customers, ensuring your business is visible in the search results is imperative. As customers take to the internet to find out more about our businesses, ensuring our online shop window – our website – looks and works the best it can is essential. And as social media becomes more a customer service tool than ever before, getting the strategy right there can reap huge rewards – and appease some disgruntled customers along the way.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you speculate to accumulate online, call us today on 0115 948 0123 use our online contact form.