A total disclaimer right up front. When I speak of investing in this instance, it is in the broader sense of the word. As people we can only really invest three things.
Our time, our money and our energy.
And if you don't do your due diligence on the things you invest in you will probably regret end up regretting it one way. So always do your homework.
Here are the 4 things you can invest in as a entrepreneur or business leader that are always a good idea. No matter how limited your time, budget or energy.
1. Invest in yourself
As cliche as it may sound. Investing in your health and mental growth and well being is always a good idea. This can be in the form of ongoing education. Not just things related to your profession but also things that you are interested in that can help you be a more well-rounded individual that can talk about other subjects besides business.
Learning a new skill doesn't always have to be formal. You can learn from online courses, Conferences (once lockdown is over of course). or even learn from a mentor.
Reading more books about subjects that interest you and will help you grow as a business leader is also a great way to invest in yourself.
2. Invest in others
It is very rare that an employer thinks of their employees as an investment, no matter what their “mission statement” says. It is challenging, because people are complex multilayered beings. Therefore, it is usually very difficult to manage people and even quantify the return on investment that they bring.
However, if you are blessed to be in a leadership role of any kind; the people you lead will most likely be your greatest burden and your greatest privilege.
As the famous John C. Maxwell maxim goes: "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." And once they know how much you care and see that you are willing to invest in them as people. You will often get the best of what they have to offer. Reciprocating the value you bring to their lives into your business and to your customers.
3. Invest in tools that increase efficiency
This is where the right piece of software, or the correctly chosen hardware can make all the difference in the world.
All you have to do is think back to a time before printers, laptops, cellphones and even the internet became so wide spread. Now these are tools that most in the Information Age can’t function without. So yes, you may need to kiss a few frogs. But don't be scared to learn about and try a new app here and there.
With a plethora of Apps and software available to you as a entrepreneur it would be wise to find out which ones are worth spending money on and which can help you in your chosen industry.
4. Invest in Marketing
Marketing, is very different to advertising. And although I won't go into the nuts & bolts of the two here. Let me just say, that no matter what the economic environment is. It is always a good idea to continue building your brand and marketing it to your customers. Spending your time, money and energy to find new and exciting ways to reach your customers and help them solve a particular problem should be core to your business.