8 May 15|Creativity

We constantly hear about ‘cuts’ to business, mining, manufacturing, health and education. Unfortunately, what traditionally comes from consistent cutting and no investment, is usually more ‘cutting’.

We constantly hear about ‘cuts’ to business, mining, manufacturing, health and education. Unfortunately, what traditionally comes from consistent cutting and no investment, is usually more ‘cutting’.

Here are six easy ways you can invest in your business without breaking the bank.

  1. Investing in people is paramount. That doesn’t mean hiring for the perfect skillset. Business guru Jim Collins insists we get the right people on the team and in the right positions before all else. Just as crucial, is a total alignment of personal and business values. How can we have one set of values when we walk into work everyday and another when we walk out? How can anyone perform at their peak when their heart is not in it? Skills can be learnt, values and desire can’t.Just as crucial in today’s business world, is embracing the change happening all around us. Change is constant. If it wasn’t we would still be riding horses and hand delivering mail across the country. It is the rate of change that is increasing. In business we need to be constantly moving forward while respecting and remembering the lessons of the past.
  1. Demonstrating great leadership is not always easy. You need to empower your team, listen to their ideas while making sound decisions. It’s a relationship and without trust and safety and respect, it has no hope of success. A culture of safety and trust and permission to fail is imperative to a productive workforce. Without establishing this culture, innovation will be a pipedream and without progress we would still be riding horses and hand delivering mail between capital cities.
  1. Finding a mentor or coach is an investment in you. Robert Noyce wrote, “Knowledge is power, knowledge shared is power multiplied“. Find someone who will stretch, even push, your thinking and skills further. Once this knowledge culture is adopted, it spreads throughout the entire business.
  1. The importance of networking has become a little lost in ‘marketing’. How many times are events now referred to as ‘great networking opportunities’? Truth is, they are, but only if you make the effort to meet new people, know what you have to offer and selectively choose the meeting and events that will provide suitable opportunities for your customer base. All other events/functions/lunches/breakfasts are optimum learning opportunities. More on that when we get to number six.
  1. Creating awareness about your business is paramount. I had a client that designed exquisite fashion products but feared her designs would be stolen so kept them secret.Social media is powerful. Before consumers can consume your product, they have to know it’s out there. And yes, social media can consume you, so investigate the peak times your target audience is using it and program it into your promotions schedule.A couple of years ago, Novocastrian Linda Drummond created the #SPC Sunday Campaign, suggesting that if everyone bought a can of peaches on a Sunday, something that would reignite memories of childhood (I remember sliced peaches served with ice-cream at Sunday lunch), it would send a message of support to SPC workers who were facing job loss. The campaign went viral and Woolworths entered into a lucrative contract with SPC. The doors remain open on the factory. Pretty powerful!
  1. Creating time to think, read and share ideas isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Don’t have time? Ponder this. Bill Gates has ‘think week’, Mark Zuckerberg reads a new book a fortnight, the CommBank have an internal platform for employees to submit ideas for seed funding, and Warren Buffet reads five hundred pages a day. If you don’t create the material and space for stimulation, where will it come from? Try it. Just for a week.

When we embark on our business journey, investment of time and money are a given. Somewhere along the way we get caught up in the processes and daily tasks. Start with committing to one investment at a time. The results will surprise you.

Start with committing to one investment at a time.

Start with committing to one investment at a time.

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