It’s no secret that running a business -- any kind of business -- requires some sort of investment, whether that be time, energy, focus, or money. In particular, running a successful business usually requires a monetary investment. Sure, you can probably still run things without making any sort of huge investment, but you’ll have a very difficult time growing your organization to the next level (whether that means clients served, profit increased, or impact made) without putting some real money into the business. Like they say, “You must spend money to make money.”
Now, we’re not saying you should go nuts with your spending, but you should really take some time to think through what your organization needs most -- especially if you’re working with a limited budget and/or capital. It’s always best to reach out to an expert for guidance and support; but if you can’t afford it, you’ll have to at least be able to invest the time. To help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the areas where an investment in your organization can go a long way.
- Look into one of the many website builders available online. They’re fairly affordable and easy to use. However, you’ll still need to have a general understanding of basic design concepts and marketing.
- Purchase a website template (perhaps for Wordpress?) then hire someone to customize it. This method is much more affordable than hiring someone to design a site from scratch.
Managing the Books
One of our favorites is the productivity suite from Google: G Suite (formerly Google Apps). If you aren’t already using it for your email, calendar, storage, etc, you should definitely look into it. (Nonprofits get special treatment here. Not only is G Suite free for most nonprofits, but they also offer a great learning center specifically geared for not-for-profit organizations.)
Other Investments to Consider
Copywriting and Content Marketing
Hiring someone with a background in writing can help you avoid any embarrassing typos or misunderstandings. And this will be important for any of your marketing materials, content for your website, or blog posts you choose to send out into the world.
Bringing someone on to handle the day-to-day administrative tasks will simply be necessary if you want your organization to grow. There will come a time to let the tedious tasks go and learn that you can’t do everything yourself forever. Think of the tasks that take up most of your time and the tasks that you enjoy the least. Usually, someone can be brought on to take those from you.
Sometimes, you might get lucky enough to find this for free. But if not, you should consider hiring a professional coach or mentor to help guide you and your team through growth, through change, and through the development of a strategic plan. This can help save a lot of headaches resulting from trying to figure it all out on your own.