Create a Decision Making System
Shiny-object syndrome is a real thing and can cause small business owners to overspend on tools and systems they don’t need and won’t use. By creating a decision-making system ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to waste money on things you don’t need.
Take a quick look through your computer’s hard drive. How many training programs or other packages did you buy over the years but have never used? Do you even remember where you stored those downloads? How many online paid memberships do you have that you aren’t utilizing to the fullest? Just because you got a membership at the lowest price possible doesn’t mean it’s a good deal if you never use it. Yes, this includes The Virtual Studio membership. It could be money going down the drain because you aren’t taking ACTION.
The first step in creating a decision-making system is to understand the difference between WANT and NEED. Yes, we probably all had this talk with our parents as teens when they didn’t want to spend their hard-earned money on something frivolous but it bears repeating. You may WANT that donut in the bakery window but you NEED water to live. A need is something that is vital to your survival, or in this case, vital to how your business operates. A want, on the other hand, is something nice to have that is useful and pretty but is not deathly important to how your business operates.
An up-to-date laptop with modern software is a NEED whereas a photoshoot with hair and makeup is a WANT. You need the laptop for invoicing, sales tracking, product ordering, taking client notes, online scheduling, or creating your signature course. You can still do all these things without having professional photos taken (although that’s a nice perk to save up for, especially to improve the professional look of your brand).
Next Step: Prioritize Your Needs
It’s wise to keep your business equipment up-to-date with the latest software but that doesn’t mean you have to purchase everything all at once and overdraw your bank account. Prioritize your needs and spread out your purchases throughout the year. Schedule these purchases on your calendar and when the time comes, evaluate objectively if the purchase is still a need or a want. Will your business stall if you don’t make this purchase?
Also, be wary of making purchases too quickly. A common marketing strategy is to use scarcity tactics or making it sound like the product is almost sold out so you better get your copy NOW. Sometimes those scarcity tactics can include fast-action bonus offers that sound awesome. Hold up a minute and really evaluate if this product – and/or its bonus offer – is a need or a want. Is this something you already have scheduled to purchase at a later date? Is this truly the best price you can find? Is this a product you will truly use or will it gather dust?
If necessary, wait a full 24 hours before making a purchasing decision. Then readjust your purchase calendar to reflect this new purchase and implement your purchase immediately into your business so it doesn’t get lost.