One thing that gets people riled up and feisty is when someone tells them they aren’t investing enough in their business. It’s one of those things like politics and religion that I rarely comment on unless I’m looking for an argument with someone.
I watched this happen a bit in a Facebook Group that I run this week where people were talking about paying for a tool for like $100/mth and a few people commented about how it expensive that was. Immediately, someone pointed out that if you couldn’t afford to invest that kind of money in a core platform for your business every month then perhaps you needed to reconsider the entire business or get a job to help underwrite it.
I read that, went to my closet and pulled out my “Internet Fire Retardant Suit” because I knew the flames were about to start flying in minutes.
And I was right, people were indignant. How dare someone tell them they weren’t investing in their business because they didn’t want to spend… Blah Blah Blah.
The guy who made the original comment was spot on. If you can’t get a positive ROI on a $100/mth investment in your core hosting and customer management platform, then you probably need to look at what you’re doing a bit more closely. Even just getting started when you have no revenue coming in at all, if that amount is the difference between you and your family eating or living indoors that month, you probably should reconsider what you’re doing.
You know that I’m the most supportive person out there for people trying to get started and doing their own side hustle type business to better themselves and their family, but let’s be honest with each other, businesses require some investment beyond sweat equity, especially in the online space.
I will honestly tell anyone that if you don’t have a couple grand to lose if everything fails, then you need to find another plan.
I’m empathetic to people just starting out but I’m also pretty honest.
The people I have no empathy for and for whom I have complete disdain are the people who do have the money to invest and then choose to nickel and dime their way through everything. They use trial licenses for software and complain when it runs out. They look for the cheapest webhosting they can find but get angry when their site is down and they have an hour’s wait for support to answer their online chat request.
People who are cheap in their business suck.
They are not just hurting themselves, but they are usually creating a substandard experience for their clients. When you cut corners on everything you do, the end result is that your products and services eventually suffer and the people who are buying your product end up with an inferior experience.
Shame on you!
Not only are you hurting your clients and customers, but you’re really limiting your own possibilities too. Often times the cheapest solutions to problems look cheap.
Case in point.
I saw someone today who I know loosely online and he is constantly complaining about external things impacting his results. The reality is, his content and products are substandard and his entire business model is to produce as many info products as he can, as quickly as he can and cross-sell them to people with over the top scarcity discounting.
It’s never his poor quality that leads to bad results, it’s always something else.
Today he started promoting his new website on Facebook – it had an interesting domain name, albeit entirely incongruent with what he offers. I clicked the link to have a look at the site and it looked like something that had escaped from GeoCities back in the 90’s. The only thing it didn’t have were flashing animated GIFs.
This abomination had AdSense ads overlaying actual content, a big manky “DONATE” button up the top from Paypal and was just littered with “buy my rubbish” offers everywhere you looked.
And to top it all off, it was hosted on Wix with their ads turned on so it means his total hosting bill per month is $4.50.
This is a prime example where someone is unwilling to invest even $10/mth to get the most basic web hosting or the time to set up clean site using something like WordPress (even using a free theme).
This is the type of lack of investment that actually damages your brand and your business – you come across as untrustworthy. More importantly, it is so unnecessary – this problem is entirely solvable for less than the cost of a large Big Mac meal every month.
Nobody is suggesting that you should plate everything in Latinum (sorry, nerd Star Trek reference), but you do need to spend something to make your business operate efficiently and look like you can be trusted.