I have to admit, as an incredibly money conscious person, the thought of spending money on my business when I'm uncertain of the results that I will get does fill me with a certain amount of trepidation...
However, I was determined to make the most of this relatively quiet time in terms of client work to focus on taking steps to ensure my business and my mindset is in the best possible place ready to hit the ground running in the new year. Since giving birth back in August I have signed up to a couple of different courses (both paid and free) as well as taken the time to focus on learning new programs and skills to increase my service offering.
Results take time
Although it may take time to see any physical, quantifiable changes from taking these courses, I have found that the actual act of participating in a course: making that conscious decision to build, develop and grow my business has already given me so much inspiration and excitement about the next stage of my business journey which, in itself, is such a positive result and makes the investment worthwhile.
Investing in your business does not have to involve spending money but it does always involve spending time. Whether that's the time it takes to complete a course; learn a new skill or for you to sit and work out your plans for your business's future - investing in your business takes time and that's okay. Results that are achieved over a period of time are often more sustainable and productive than any quick fix promises you may hear about.
Sense of community
Another massive positive that I have found since taking these courses with other freelance businesses is the support and encouragement that comes from these groups. Working for yourself, as a small business owner, can be a lonely place so having that sense of community from other people taking the same steps to invest in their business as you is so helpful. Having people there to boost your confidence or to answer your questions is one of the key reasons why I would recommend signing up.
Which one to chose?
Of course, I would recommend doing your research before taking the plunge and signing up to a paid course. There are now so many to choose from, many offering similar packages and structures so it is important for you to choose someone who fits in with your brand values (and who you are happy listening to); that are selling their course for a price you are willing to pay; and that have helped people in a similar stage of their business as you. Listening to or reading testimonials from people who have taken the course can be a great way for you to decide if it's the one for you.
I am so happy with the decisions I have made to invest in my business so far this year and I cannot wait to see my business grow and develop over the coming year.