As a small business owner, every dollar that you don’t spend elsewhere is usually a dollar that ends up straight in your pocket at the end of the month. I deal with a lot of small business owners (and used to be one myself) who had this mentality and tried to do nearly everything on their own or passed up on things they need just for the sake of saving some money for themselves.
And in many regards I completely agree with this — you might not really need that new fancy computer, the new cash register when the old one works fine, or the new delivery truck just because yours is a few years old. These are all things that you can pour money into and likely won’t see a good return on your investment.
However when it comes to marketing, you have to spend some money to make money. Every single marketing project you take on–whether it be SEO, Pay Per Click, Coupons, Groupons, or ads should deliver a minimum of a 100% return on your investment.
When I talk with business owners looking for ways to gain more customers and grow their business, I often suggest SEO as most businesses don’t already rank at the top of search results and there’s hundreds if not thousands of people looking for a business similar to theirs. But then when I mention that SEO starts at $297 per month and can go up to a few thousand per month for extremely competitive niches, they are immediately turned off by the price tag.
A hard lesson I’ve learned as a business owner is that you need to spend some money to make money. You need to take calculated risks with your business in order to see it grow and pay you even more money down the road. There’s a big difference in the US between the rich and poor, and the gap between them is growing larger each year. The main reason behind that is investments — how they spend money. In general it seems as if the poor are spending money on things that don’t yield an ROI — a new car, a TV, etc. — and they’re spending a large percentage of their overall income on those items. The rich are spending a small percentage of their income on those things, but they spend the majority of their money on investments that will yield an ROI — private equity groups, financial investments, marketing to grow their businesses.
I’ve learned over the years that when it comes to marketing and SEO specifically, you get out what you put in. I started out doing all of my own SEO, and saw okay results, but once I spent some money to form a team and increase the workload and investment, I saw a huge return on my investment — 500% to 750% ROI each year.
The bottom line is this — while I understand that every dollar you don’t spend goes into your pocket as a small business owner, if your goal is new customers and growth you need to spend a little to make a little more. And as you scale that up and spend more, you should be making more and more money through new customers. Don’t be afraid to spend money on quality investments in your business, as the results down the road should more than pay for your initial investment and help you continue to grow your business.