Setting Your Business Up For The Future
Author: Jocelyn Serone
Choosing products & tools that will last you into the future & expand your expectations
I listened to a podcast recently (I think it was Michael Hyatt’s, This Is Your Life- I listen to so many! For more on this topic, see my blog on podcasts) that spoke about buying productivity tools that have more features than you need right now but will allow you to grow your business into the future, which got me thinking…….
Not only does this makes financial sense, because you are not constantly upgrading tools & apps, but in my experience, this practise also stretches your mindset- the sky is literally the limit. I didn’t realise at the time, but I’ve actually been doing this, in my business, for years.
Here are a few examples of how I have stretched my business by buying & using products that I didn’t need to use in all their full potential at the time of purchase-
- Remember when cloud/web based programs were starting to be rolled out? As these programs improved, I upgraded every version of my programs to cloud based (accounting etc.), just in case it became handy! Of course, I can now run my business away from home, with all of my work documents & files being available on my smart phone, not having to be bound to a local computer. Another bonus of doing business this way, is your software is constantly being updated, giving you a more productive program without the need to buy the latest versions.
- My accounting software (MYOB) allows for employees payroll & timesheet tracking etc. At the moment, any people working with me are contractors, who pay their own taxes etc. but this feature allows me to think ahead of the possibilities of employees, if I wish to head in this direction.
- I use Hootsuite for managing most of Lahay’s social media posts. At the present time, I am the only user that is posting social media posts for Lahay, but I particularly chose a plan that gave me the option for multiple users to post for Lahay, in the future.
- Many years ago, I had a customer ask me to spend $3,500 on a specialised industrial sewing machine, so I could use this machine for their clothing range. I had never needed this type of machine before in my business & I knew this customer was not going to be long lasting type, so needless to say, I had to think very hard about the decision to outlay this money. I came to the conclusion that I would buy this machine, as it could easily be another bow in my arrow & could possibly bring me in extra work. As predicted, the customer didn’t last long but I ended up with a machine that became the mainstay of my own clothing range I started a few years later! By stretching myself (& my budget!), I changed the direction of my business, because the machinery had already been purchased. If I had not already purchased this machine, I probably would not have bought it later, when this money was needed for other start-up costs, with the new direction I was taking with my business.
- The latest version of Lahay’s website comes with lots of cool features at the back end. One of the deciding factors of choosing the ecommerce software that I did, was the fact that I had lots of features that I didn’t need right now, but could definitely grow into in the short term. Features like a blog (which I hadn’t had before but knew I wanted to get started with), gift certificates for my online store (something I hadn’t used before but definitely do now!) & a lot more creative room to play, with a lot more custom features & add-ons readily available.Any extra features that aren’t being used right now are serving as encouragement & inspiration for my business. These options that have been brought to my attention are now sitting in the back of my mind, waiting for me to step into the next stage of my business.
I hope this encourages you to think about the choices you make when purchasing the tools & products you use in your business. Is there a product with extra features that will give you lots of opportunities to grow your business in the future? Can you choose a tool that seems a little too “grown up” for your business that will push you into that slightly uncomfortable zone, where inspiration & ideas live?
I would love to hear in the comments below of a time when you have looked ahead in your business & bought a “grown up” tool or product, which became invaluable later.
Great blog posts15 March 2016I am loving your blog posts, very honest and thought provoking for an emerging business. Thanks for sharing. Kylie x
Thanks, Kylie, for your lovely comments about our blog. I'm glad you're loving them! Jocelyn