Today, I’m going to give you my advice on how to use your Bounce Back, Business Interruption grant or other additional investments and get the best return on investment (ROI) in your IT / MSP Business.
I’ll help you with exactly what you need to be doing with your spare cash to help you take your IT and Tech Business to the next level. If you haven’t already applied for effectively “Free Cash” in your business, then check to see if you are eligible by checking out the government website HERE.
The first thing I need to mention is that this is not to be construed as any kind of financial advice. I’m not recommending that anybody goes and gets a loan if they can’t afford to repay it, this is simply my advice from a Business Development point of view.
The main reason for this blog right now is that we are in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and there are many businesses that have access to essentially “Free money”.
I will give you some of my best tips and tricks on how you should be investing that money to get the best bang for your buck.
Change is on the Horizon.
Business change is inevitable. We’re currently going through this horrendous pandemic and I don’t believe that the business world even knows what’s coming yet in terms of commercial upheaval and disruption.
There are always going to be rises and crashes in economies and we need to learn how to protect our businesses when this happens. It’s the business leaders who have been innovative, the ones that think ahead, and business owners who are looking for the next opportunities that will be the ones that will succeed and thrive at these times.
More importantly, it’s the ones who have the cash to invest that will have the upper hand. History tells us that it’s the rich businesses that grow out of recessions and depressions.
When you have some capital coming in, there’s a way forward. But, you need to use the money wisely, and you need to make sure that you’re measuring its ROI performance carefully.
Here are my five tips.
1. Invest it in improving your business systems and processes.
Think about McDonald’s, (which is the largest small business in the world), what they have is their own way of doing things, their own processes. This has enabled them to scale at a multinational level.
This is where we need to make sure that we’re using this money to improve our systems and our own “way” of doing things.
If all of a sudden, a lot of new leads came into your business, how are you actually going to process them?
How are you going to recruit the right people, get them in the right jobs, and get them doing the tasks you need to do to generate the new level of revenue?
How are you going to make sure that you’re getting a really good ROI for the money you’re spending actually operating the business?
The first thing would be, make sure that you’re spending it on something that’s going to improve the speed, the efficiency, the time saving, the quality that you can provide, and improve the “way” you do business.
2. Understand the level of your return on investment.
All assets in the business, whether they are people or systems, need to pay their way. If you’re going to invest £10,000 process improvement, then make sure that it delivers at least £20,000 or whatever your return on investment is. This could be in terms of additional value to your organisation or incoming leads.
A lot of people at the moment are talking about increasing their marketing activities. Now you have some spare cash, you can actually start spending money on marketing the right way. Marketing, sometimes can be seen as being quite complicated. I have other content around the topic to help you with your marketing and lead generation and to help you understand that process. Check out the IT Experts Accelerator page on my website.
However, if you’re going to outsource to a marketing agency, make sure you know how you are going to measure their performance against your spend. Make sure you find out what’s the likely return, how many leads they estimate you’re going to get?
Also, understand the stats about impressions, views, website performance, and all that Digital Marketing “stuff”. Make sure that you’re in control of your cash.
Before you go out and spend it all and say, “I don’t need to worry about it, I haven’t got to pay it back for a long, long time”. Get into the mindset that you would have to pay it back on a monthly basis, otherwise, time will drift and so will your focus.
3. Spend some time, energy, and money on your people.
Your people are the biggest asset in your organisation. And they’re the most important as well.
With your technical teams who’ve probably been recently working more remotely than normally, so bring them all together, make them feel loved, get them involved in the growth plans of the business.
Start working on increasing your employee engagement. Now, it’s really important that we understand where our people are at mentally right now.
Take time to understand what they’ve been through in recent months and if they have had any personal issues at home.
Bring back the conversations that you would have had in the kitchen or during breaks at the office. The small talk is sometimes the most important talk!
Again, at the time of writing around this pandemic, take additional time to make sure that you’re always connected, you’re always communicating, you have a good performance management system in place.
You need to understand exactly what it is your people are doing, how they are performing, and also how you are supporting your people.
When you invest in your people, and you invest in developing them, they will grow, and then your business will grow as a result.
We have devised our own People Performance Programme at IT Experts, which helps align your Leadership team and the targets that cascade down through your structure.
4. Investing in your own learning and development.
Now its time for you!, It’s time to invest in yourself, so that you grow as an individual as well.
Find and join a relevant peer group, find out what’s working well in your industry and other businesses right now. Find out what’s not working well. Join up with like-minded people who have won, lost, and learnt from the process. It’s the quickest way for you to progress.
Also, listen and learn from other businesses, see what they have done to grow in these times. Understand their challenges and see if they resonate with yours. If they have come out stronger and more resilient, find out how they did it.
Look at what’s going on in the tech marketplace. Look at what’s going on with your clients. Look at what’s going on with your own technical space. How can you get in front and ahead of your competition? Think about people like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, they’re always thinking way in front. How do they learn and grow?
The one thing they’re doing is exercising their brains to make sure that they’re learning and developing, reading, listening, and testing. They then drive their businesses forward because they have better knowledge, they have a better understanding of what’s going on in the future and how they can align their business development activities to support their plans.
5. What gets measured gets done.
Make sure that you measure, track, and report on your investment.
Wherever you’re investing in, you might be carrying out some focused Lead Generation, you might invest in a peer support group, run a new marketing campaign, carry out some personal learning and development, whatever it is make sure that you’re measuring it and you understand how it will help you generate income.
There always needs to be an “Expectation Exchange”. I’m going to give you some money and for that, I need to get these results or these outcomes. Make sure you’re really clear about understanding what the exchanges and outcomes are.
Also, it is key that you feedback performance to your people, your leadership team, and the rest of your business on how well things are going. If you then need to improve anything then everybody understands the main objectives and support where necessary.
Look, there are always going to be uncertain times in business.
If you have the right knowledge, the right peer group, the right experience, and forethought on what’s going on then you will be in a far stronger position than your competition to survive and adapt to situations outside of your control.
At IT Experts from Innovate to Success, we do this every day. We help IT and Tech businesses, to use the tools within the IT Experts Model to help them grow, scale, adapt, and help them spend their investments wisely.
So that’s it for today.
Catch up with you soon.
Look after yourself.