Monday , 22 December 2014
Ask us if we’re investing for our future, and many of us will say, “Yes!” Whether we’re saving for our dream home, our children’s college tuition, or our retirement, we plan ahead. We have personal goals and outlandish dreams, and we visit them often.

What would you do with $20,000 for your business?

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tag collage-2828 by: jodiehurt

 

Ask us if we’re investing for our future, and many of us will say, “Yes!” Whether we’re saving for our dream home, our children’s college tuition, or our retirement, we plan ahead. We have personal goals and outlandish dreams, and we visit them often. But, how many of us have such a focused visualization of our business’ future?

When it comes to the Energy Shop, well, I’m just happy to be here. I didn’t plan to make 1,400 sales in the first year, mostly I developed a marketing strategy by the seat of my pants. I’m still running on a day-to-day basis. I don’t have the next 6 months figured out, let alone a five-year plan. Whereas, in my personal life, I have my priorities aligned for the next 10 years.

I recently read an article that inspired the question, “If you were given $20,000 to invest in your business, what would you do with it?” Truthfully, I know what I’m going to say to my customers on Facebook tomorrow, but I realized I wouldn’t know where to start with a hefty investment. However, as soon as your business is off the ground and running, it’s time to think long-term. Because I’m constantly dreaming of what my forever home will look like, and what my neighbors will do, and who will come visit for the holidays . . .  I realized it was time to have a detailed picture of what my small business will one day become. Savings don’t just happen for people–they come with careful planning and budgeting.

I’ve spent this last week deciding what I would do with my $20,000. Just imagining this money coming into my possession has got my creative juices flowing. As an example, I would start by investing in my own personal office equipment. I currently share everything with my family. I can’t tell you how wonderful it would feel to turn on my printer without waiting for a long que of Nick Jr. coloring pages to print, or to open my internet browser for a quick fact without finding somebody has logged me out of my gmail account … again.

My list turned out to be full of things that I not only want, but need in order for the Energy Shop to continue growing and expanding. This prompted a new business budget–one in which I take care of my monthly expenses AND set aside a savings amount toward my goals. I prioritized and numbered each item on my list, so I don’t have to wait until I have $20,000 to start achieving my goals, I can start attaining them as soon as I save enough to purchase the first item on the list. Energy Shop-owned computer, here I come!

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16 comments

  1. I could buy real advertising..wow…and I could buy supplies that I really need…and wow I could really advertise…what a concept….

  2. Yeah for sure…. supplies… tools… ad advertising!

  3. Just wrote my business plan. So timely question. I would do a trade show and invest in new equipment. I would space out spending though to avoid cash flow issues.

  4. oh the things i would do… I have a long list of products I would like to develop and would get my trade show set up designed and ready. The advertising would be nice too.

  5. Well after I took half the money and put it in savings to build a long term safety net. Supplies, tools, advertising, replacing my laptop with something faster and more powerful. In general taking the stuff I’m doing now and ramping it up a few notches.

  6. Great points! Thanks for bringing up this subject…definitely an important place to start. I know one of the first things I would do would be to build my own work space instead of having to share the dining room table with the rest of the family! Then stocking that workroom with work tables and storage space…yah, that would be nice! In the meantime, I guess I should work on a financial game plan, ’cause $20,000 doesn’t usually just drop out of the sky, now does it!?

    http://handmedowndesigns.com

  7. I have borrowed money each time I use paypal or a credit card for supplies for my little paper shop. I would pay all those bills with $20,000 first. Then I would deposit the rest of the money in an account for the future and have that business account be my source for all additions and subtractions. Okay, here comes the dream again.

  8. It’s a great idea to make a list and check back every week to see if the priorities have changed or new ones need to be added. Marketing money is always high on my priorities, but 2 large publications have included us in their Oct-Nov holiday gift guides for free. Now I’m taking the holiday advertising budget and looking to create a new budget in another direction.
    But, honestly – the first place I would put extra cash is into a short get-away vacation BEFORE the holiday rush ensues!!

    • Linda – Congratulations on being included in the holiday gift guides! Would love to hear more about your advertising/marketing strategies. That’s my weak point. Would you consider writing an article on this subject? I’d be all ears!

  9. I’m lucky to be debt free and making a profit for my business, so I would LOVE to redo my studio and make it more efficiant & user friendly. Better lighting etc. My next splurge would be a web site maintained by an outside source!

  10. I would invest in advertising & large attended trade shows that appeal to my target market. I would also love to invest in redesigning my studio so its more efficient for my business.

  11. If the money was a surprise and before I thought too much about, I’d get the fridge of my dreams and stock the freezer with my favorite ice cream! While making my way to the bottom of the first container, and I’m able to start thinking seriously, I’d start looking for more space to rent! I have this dream about my jewelry doing gonzo business, but I have a second dream about opening another shop that is part garment shop part costume shop. HOSJ would occupy a small room all for mama! I really want to create work that puts myself and other people back to work. THAT’S what I would ultimately work towards. All new hires get a quart of ice cream to celebrate…

  12. I LOVE where this conversation is going! I know that I also had an upcoming promotion that forced me to prepare for 100 sales all at once. You know, for as often as I wish I would suddenly get a bum rush of sales, I realized how unprepared I am for heavy traffic.

    These kinds of theoretical questions really get you thinking. If you experienced a business boom, would you grow … or collapse in it’s wake?

  13. Oh Man, i was hoping someone was offering ! LOL we would certainly put some away for slow times, like now :0( and invest in better tools and shop space as well as upgrade the computer/camera/office. we are more prepared for a rush of sales than what is going on now, we are having the slowest month ever last month, and this one is not much better yet, so that would be nice to have, to know we could still make our payments and run our business!

  14. I would buy a better camera, backdrops, lights…I could do a lot with $20,000.

  15. I’d open my brick-and-mortar. Right now, the brick-and-mortar is my five year plan, but if someone gave me $20K, I’d have enough to go to the bank for a small business loan and I’d be ready to open my doors in one month.

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