“Invest! I can’t afford to spend anything at all,” you say.
For a small business this can be a very emotional topic. Your personal money and the company’s money seem like much the same thing. If you had a job working for someone else’s company you wouldn’t have to invest – apart from all that education and resume writing of course. But when it’s your own business you need to prove to your customers that you can do what you say you can, and you need to let them know what that is. Perhaps your business started so well that t you could fund your R&D and your marketing and your talent development out of your profits and still have money to take home. But in most cases you need to stump up some money, laying it out ahead of the anticipated profits.
There’s a big temptation to wait: to not spend what you don’t “have to” spend. But what’s happening while you are waiting? Too often you are just losing time and postponing those profits.
Intelligent investment can speed things up. You can spend money to get your samples made or your message out or your new talent working and bringing in new business.
But note I said “intelligent” investing. Be sure you know what you are aiming at. Where you want to get to. Don’t spend just for the fun of it. Do a logic model. Decide what the desired effect of each of your actions will be. See how that will get you closer to your end goal. If it doesn’t get you closer to the goal you have set, then why are you doing it? If it does, you have a rational basis for spending the money and the decision is a whole lot easier.