Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Anybody Heard From ROI?

I was driving down the road yesterday and it dawned on me that I haven't  heard from  ROI in a long time.

Please forgive me. It just dawned on me that many of you haven't been introduced. ROI is acronym for "Return On Investment." It used to be that ROI was the first thing you talked about when you got ready to spend money in you business.

The landscape changed and ROI seemed to drop down the priority list for many small business owners. Social media marketing, mass email marketing, SEO optimization, hiring a coach or consultant - All come with a price tag. If we are going to do business in today's marketplace those things are not luxuries, they're necessities. We, "gotta have em'"

So here's my question.

When do I begin to see a return on my investment or more aptly put When I do all the things you tell me to do, when does it start to pay off for me as a small business owner? 

Oh yeah, THAT.

Let's throw in a disclaimer. You business success is entirely dependent on the decisions you make or don't make over the life of your business. All the wisdom and guidance in the world wont benefit you if you don't create a solid foundation for success.

I know business owners who go from consultant to consultant and coach to coach looking for someone who will tell them what they want to hear. They hop on the Trend Train and cant understand why people aren't beating a path to their door. It's because they don't ask the right questions to the folks who want to make them rich and famous.

I cut my business teeth working for a Fortune 5 company. The reason they were so successful is that each request for expenditure was met with these questions:

  • How long before we recoup our investment? 
  • How does this make us better, stronger, improve our position in the marketplace?
  • Will it increase our competitive edge? 
  • If it's new and innovative what are its risks? 

There is always the temptation to grab the bright and shiny object before us because all the cool kids are doing so.

Is it a fit for your business?

Is it going to propel you forward or is it going to hold you back?

Just because "everyone is doing it,"...........

This company I worked with was famous for being second or third in innovation but first in ROI and successful marketing. They did it by watching other companies in their market experiment. They took good notes and when they rolled out their version of the product or service the competition was left in the dust. They did it bigger, better and were more profitable because they knew where to invest and where not to invest. It's why they are a Fortune 5

Okay, reality check time.

You and I are not Fortune 5's. We're small businesses who cant afford to absorb the miscues. The decisions we make on our investments may mean the difference between the life and death of our companies.

No, this isn't the fun stuff. It's just the necessary stuff.  Establishing an understanding of the return on your investments will help you whittle down the options you and your business have with your investments.

Now you know ROI

Next week I'm going to make the case for working with a coach and mentor as you navigate through your business journey and how to choose the one that's right for you.