If the top 10 ways to invest $10K haven’t quite satisfied your hunger for strategic business development, here are four slightly left-field ideas from our panelists to help you give your business a boost.
Hire a cleaner
John Allan: “Spend $1300 each year on a cleaner at home and invest the time you save updating your TrueLocal page, your website, your social networking, and optimizing your search engine marketing.”
Not such a daft idea, given that social networking, HTML and things like TrueLocal and LinkedIn profiles take an enormous amount of time to set up so that they can be used effectively. Be disciplined, though. Don’t let it lapse like that Gym membership. The more you put into these sites the greater the return you’ll see from them.
Take a holiday
Lex Goldsmith: “I see people with inordinate wealth who are inexplicably unhappy. Perhaps they just need a good holiday with the people they love.”
Work addiction, particularly in small businesses, is a real problem for many professionals. Taking a holiday is one of the best things you can do for it. If a holiday seems too difficult to integrate into your professional life, these five steps might give you some ideas on how to engineer the possibility of a break whilst maintaining a clear conscience.
- Start with the intention to take regular holidays; write it into your business plan
- Budget and plan time out each year; ensure you have the cashflow to take a break.
- Manage your time strategically and establish systems so the business is run repetitively.
- Delegate and outsource.
- Monitor staff performance and provide training.
If the idea of a holiday is still completely out of the question, perhaps you should take a look at methods of switching off more regularly, and for periods infinitely shorter than your average holiday. It will increase your productivity manifold, and your family will love you more for it.
Try meditating. Once a day, remove all thoughts and emotions from your mind and focus only on your breathing. This one takes a little practice but is enormously rewarding once you’ve gotten the knack for it.
Exercise daily, or as often as you possibly can. Three times a week should be your absolute minimum. You’ll find that these two are the most effective methods of dispelling stress and providing perspective on your work/life arrangement.
Hire some virtual help
Lara Solomon: “Hire people! It doesn’t have to be people in your office – look at virtual helpers such as Odesk (you can get people from US$2.22 an hour) – then use them to research things such as leads, printing costs, or keywords. They could do your social network updates, update your website content – anything you have a procedure for.”
If you can’t afford that extra staff member, outsourcing is not such a bad idea. There’s a wealth of good sites available designed to connect you with more-than-affordable copywriters, web designers, and more. In addition to Odesk, have a browse through Elance and Guru and see if there’s anything that might help.
Embrace social media
Naomi Simson: “Build the personality of your business using social media. Create open and intimate conversations and allow people to join. We don’t have a shop front, so we use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and blogs – we call it Project Personality. It’s about letting people into our world so they can see us and understand who we are.” #Read Nett’s more straightforward ways of spending $10k here.