Why being a ‘freebie hunter’ is holding you back

Why being a ‘freebie hunter’ is holding you back

Do you just love a freebie? Something for nothing. No cost involved.

I totally get it. I love a freebie too.

When I’m looking for new tools to use in my business, when I’m looking for advice, when I’m looking for information etc. etc.

I’ve learned some big lessons though in the past year when it comes to getting free stuff.

Guess what? Sometimes ‘free’ isn’t always best.

There have been times when I’ve taken something because it’s free rather than because it does what I need or is the best tool for the job.

The impact of this? I’ve not been acting like a professional. Instead I’ve been running my business as an amateur.

I’ve been scrimping by and not investing in things my business needed.

Does this sound familiar to you?

An investment means you are putting up an asset (let’s say money or time), with the view of getting a return on that asset (i.e. more money or time).

I made a decision about 6 months ago in my business to stop being an amateur and start to go professional. I realised that I wasn’t investing wisely in my business, mainly because I didn’t want to spend money. I’d worked hard for that money and wasn’t going to easily part with it.

Buying something meant that I would have to see that money leaving my account, gone forever.

I was being short-sighted I now realise. I was only seeing a short term loss, and missing out on the possible future gains.

You see, any investment you make, you should be clear about what returns you expect to get.

So, instead of scrimping by and working harder and longer to make my business work, I decided to look at where I needed to invest.

I looked at my business goals and I assessed my own strengths and weaknesses within my business.

What became apparent was that the areas I needed support in were:

  1. Putting in systems to simplify my business
  2. Marketing and sales

Putting in systems to simplify my business meant that I was able to take the decision to go and purchase the tools that were really going to help me do this, rather than continue using the various free tools I was using that weren’t really up to the job.

This has been well worth the relatively low cost of investment here for me. Getting in the right tools to simplify my business has freed up my time and freed up space in my head to think about more strategic things.

I also outsourced some of the more technical jobs I needed doing and I can’t tell you the relief I felt to have these done properly and quickly, whilst I was working on things I enjoyed doing.

For marketing and sales, this was a bit tougher. Although I coach other business owners to improve their marketing and sales, I recognised that this was not a strength in my own business. Like many business owners I wanted to get on with the main job (i.e. coach clients) and, although I had a marketing plan, it felt like a lot of hard work to go and deliver on it.

Sometimes, I also fail to see the obvious in my own business.

You know, that thing on the end of your nose? It really is tricky to see by yourself!

So I made the decision to invest in this area. I did some more training, read some more books, but the best thing I did was hiring a new business mentor / coach who specialised in sales and marketing.

I hesitated a little about the cost, but quickly worked out how much return I needed and what this meant in terms of client numbers. After the first month I was already achieving way more than I had on my own.

Sometimes it’s the extra expertise, but sometimes it’s just needing someone to hold a mirror up so you can see that thing on the end of your nose!

Recognising the need to invest in my business, and having a clear plan about where I invest and what returns I expect, has been the best business decision I’ve made in the past year.

Another thing – when you make that investment, it shows you are fully committed. You are going to do what you need to do, to make sure you get that return. That is what professionals do.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love a freebie. They have their place, but I realise that the real difference usually comes from those things that I’ve made an investment in.

What about you? Are you holding back still from making that investment? Worried about spending money yet at the same time concerned about how your business is going to grow? Thinking that it’s all down to you, that you just need to work harder and longer?

I challenge you to come up with 2 areas in your business that you feel could be massively improved on if you invested in the right tools and support.

In the future, when you come across something where you think ‘I’d love to do that, it could make a huge difference’, instead of dismissing it because there’s a cost involved, figure out what you would need to get back from that investment to make it worthwhile.

And next time you look for the freebie ask yourself this – is that what my business truly deserves?

If this has been useful to you, you can also get my weekly Rock Your Biz tips, helping Solo Entrepreneurs to be more productive and profitable, here or find out ways to work with me here.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.
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