Have you ever been in a place in your business where you’re trying to make a decision? Should I or should I not invest in this software or this tool, or this service provider, or this consultant to help me grow or scale my business? And you’re trying to figure it all out, you’re trying to decide, and you’re trying to weigh the pros and cons.
Does it make sense for me to invest in this for my business or not?
Out of all of the systems and softwares you can think about investing in for your business, the one I think about the most, and the one that people ask me about the most, is Infusionsoft. One of the best marketing automation tools for e-commerce businesses, and one that I personally rely on, Infusionsoft can, at first, seem costly. Many users spend about $300 a month for this particular software tool. And when I’m speaking to someone to help them to figure out whether or not they should make this investment, I always go back to asking them, “How much time is it going to save you?” In other words, is investing in this tool going to save you at least the amount of money that it is going to cost you to pay for this tool?
There are many successful businesses out there that have grown by cobbling together different tools, some of these are even seven-figure businesses. The beauty about Infusionsoft is that, in reality, it’s three tools in one. The thing is that many of my clients don’t have $300 a month to invest in a tool like Infusionsoft right now. So, they get a more cost effective tool, or tools, like combining Mailchimp for email automation and PayPal for accepting credit cards online. And, in the beginning, this works out just fine.
But, as sales begin to come in, using these two separate tools actually begins to take up a lot of your time. You have to sort through Mailchimp emails to find your customers from PayPal and then manually move them, or remove them, from certain email lists. Why? Because you don’t want to be sending the same emails to people that have just purchased a product and the people who still haven’t purchased; these are two separate segments of your email list. This process might only take five or ten minutes each week when you’re first starting out, but as your business grows it will take up significantly more time.
As your business becomes more profitable, your time becomes more valuable.
While you might have been making $25 or $50 an hour at the beginning, soon you can start making $200, or even $700, an hour. This means that if you’re still spending 20 or 30 minutes a day managing your disjointed systems, then you’re losing a significant amount of money every week — potentially thousands of dollars. Suddenly, that $300 a month for a software like Infusionsoft starts to make a whole lot of sense.
So, when you’re deciding what’s a good investment for your business, and what’s not, always ask yourself: “Does it make sense for me based on what my time is worth today for me to invest in this software tool for my business?”
Another example of this is when you’re trying to figure out how you can grow and scale your company. You’ve done all of the free training, you’ve read all of the blog posts, you’ve taken all of the free master classes, but you just need someone to maybe point out some areas to you, that you need someone to look at your business one-on-one. You need someone to give you that direct feedback. And so you need to hire a coach or a mentor, and you’re wondering, should I or should I not do this?
Do I want to spend the next three months, six months, or year trying to figure this out on my own? Or do I want to invest in a coaching program for $5,000 or $10,000 to figure this out faster and get results faster so that I could make more money? And so that is how you can also figure out if you should make this investment. Because you can always make more money. But, you can’t make more time.
So, let’s just say, for example, you are trying to figure out how to do something, and it will take three months to do it on your own. But, if you hire someone to do it for you, it will take significantly less time. A great example of this is building your own website. There are many business owners that try to build their own websites from scratch, but, unless your business is web development, then you honestly have no business building your own website; you have other, more important, things to do. Not only can a professional get this work done faster, which means you can be up and running sooner, but you can do other things simultaneously that will allow your business to be in a position to scale and grow.
So the decision you always have to go back to is:“Does it make sense for my business? Do I have the money to invest?” The concept you need to realize and keep in mind always is that you can always make more money, but you can’t get back your time. So, anything that you can do to save time in your business is going to be so helpful to help you to grow and scale so much faster.
You can look at my family for another example of this. Our family makes a trip to the United States about every year to see friends and family. Sometimes we include a trip to Disneyland for an extra fun highlight for everyone. In the past, especially when our business was just getting started and it was not as profitable as it is today, we would all drive together in our car, to the States and then over to California. And, from Puebla, Mexico, that is a pretty long trip — just thirteen hours to get to the border. The entire drive itself, then, is pretty much a 4-day commitment. Sometimes we would wake up really early and we could make it in three days, but that was very rare.
And when you’re traveling in Mexico, there are many places where you do not have access to the Internet. Unlike the States, there are so many dead spots on the road, which means you can’t make calls or anything while driving. That means, work of any sort is virtually off the table during these days. Not only is the internet non-existent, but the bumpy roads make it impossible to even type or write. Add to that a van full of seven noisy, talkative kids, and you definitely don’t have an environment that’s conducive for working.
Of course, I loved spending time with my family. These days on the road really were fun and exciting. But as my business became more demanding (and profitable), this 4-day road trip commitment started to make less and less sense. Not only did my high end clients need me on a more full time basis, but the days spent in the car (eight days in total) took away from our time with family and friends (and Disneyland) in the States. In order to get everything in, we needed at least sixteen solid vacation days each year.
We hit a point where we realized it made more sense for us to spend more money and fly from Mexico to California. (My amazing husband still drove the four days there and back with our 15-passenger van because, well, we needed it for our big family to get around the States.) Doing this, I was able to shave six days of travel off of our family trip, which was huge.
Time is so much more valuable than money.
I can make back the cost of those plane tickets in an hour or two of consulting. Whereas, if I had taken four days to travel to the States and back, I could not get back that time to be able to work on my business.
These are just some of the types of ways that your business may change as it grows and evolves. Your life, and your business, will inform these decisions, as will your evolution as an entrepreneur. The goal is that you start to realize that you can always make more money, but you cannot make more time.