How my Growing up on a Farm Fostered The Truth About Building a Business that Will Save You Wasted Time, Money and Effort in the Long Run
When I was 9, our family moved from Vancouver to a 10-acre farm in Bradner. The shock of moving from a city to a farm was definitely felt by all of us but for my Dad, it was his dream of being a farmer coming true.
We were all put to work, much to my brother's and I chagrin. Mom and Dad continued to work full time in Vancouver so their day purpose getting up very early to feed the cattle and milk our cow, Emma, before driving the hour long commute.
When they returned, the evening chores were done in between getting the old farmhouse in working order. Installing a hot water tank was Dad's top priority!
To say they were really invested in making a go of it was an understatement with that kind of commitment.
Last year, due to health reasons, my Dad had to sell the farm and let's just say his return on his investment was immense.
Thinking back at the hard work and sacrifices we made in getting the farm operational got me thinking about how I developed a strong work ethical and built my own business, as a result from that experience.
Of course, we are not a farm but similar principles apply when wanting to protect your business investment.
Here's 6 investments you should make in order to protect your own business investment:
1. Invest in Your Commitment
Just like my Mom and Dad, you need to invest your time be truly committed to your business in order to see success. Be "all in" and not let any excuses get in the way of doing what needs to be done.
If it means getting up an hour early so you can get your family needs taken care of first before heading to the office, then so be it. And if it means not watching TV at night and instead working on your business priorities, then do it.
Take the "No More Excuses" approach and your business will soar.
2. Invest in Your Brand
Your brand is not just a logo but is the overall "essence" of your business. It encompasses how you present yourself to the public by way of appearance, how you have, how you speak and how you "are". Your brand is also the quality of product of service you provide.
The visual representation of your business is also a big part of a brand. This is where a professionally designed logo is a must but also everything else that is viewed by the public such as your website, your marketing materials, your social media platforms and even your business card.
Your brand can legally make or break your business success. When all factors are put together, a brand will produce either a positive or negative impression on your potential customers. So a proper investment in your brand is vital for business success.
Just like when Dad would take his steers to auction, other farmers were judging him based on what they see and use that to determine if he was trustworthy to purchase from or not.
3. Invest in Yourself
I meet a lot of entrepreneurs who are very hard on themselves for not knowing everything they "should" while running a business. In fact, many secretly are just waiting to be called out as being a fraud.
The truth is, no one knows EVERYTHING! It's impossible to live up to that kind of expectation; however, it IS important to invest in yourself when it comes to staying on top of what's happening in your industry.
Whether it's learning about new grain mixtures to feed to cattle like my Dad did or staying on top of the latest technologies that support your business, there always needs to be room for this kind of investment in your business.
4. Invest in a Professional Website
Well you knew I was going to add this in, right? Just like it's important to invest in your brand, your website is a critical investment that must be taken seriously.
Since your website is literally your sales presentation that's working on your behalf 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it must be given the attention it describes.
It is definitely required to have a unique, professionally designed and built website that is mobile friendly so anyone can easily access the information needed regardless of device used.
Dad would never be able to operate the farm if his barn was not functional and the cow's needs were not met due to him wanting to cut corners and build a shack instead.
Do not have a shack for a website, invest in a proper one that will represent you professionally and get you the results you need.
5. Invest in SEO
Having a website is not enough. Just because you built it, does not mean anyone knows it exists so you must implement search engine optimization strategies to drive qualified traffic back to it.
By qualified, I mean getting it in front of your ideal target audience – the ones that are prime to do business with you.
Dad did not have the convenience of the Internet back then to sell his livestock but he knew the importance of placing an ad in the local newspaper on a weekly basis. Attending auctions and getting visible in front of local farmers was his version of SEO so people knew of what his offers.
Find a qualified SEO specialist to help you with this. This is one area where investing in your knowledge might not be ideal unless you are a web developer. There's a lot of know-how involved in building and optimizing a website so it performs ideally for you so let an expert help with this.
6. Invest in Marketing
No matter how much you implement the Law of Attraction and meditation about the success of your products or services, you must market them in order to get sales.
Many entrepreneurs find this part difficult to do – it feels sleazy to them and inauthentic. I beg to argument. No one is saying you have to be a pushy sales person that lies and scams people in order to make a sale.
But what you DO need is to create a consistent marketing plan that will build your reputation as someone who is knowledgeable in your industry, nurture prospects into trusting you and creating easy methods for people to buy from you.
Luckily for Dad, big auction houses took care of all the marketing for him and other farmers but if none of that marketing happened, they would not be in existence. People have to know you exist and what you have to offer in order you're your business to succeed.
Are you willing to follow these 6 business investments in order to achieve your dream of success?
by Susan Friesen