Its Time to Invest

Investment is usually expensive; not really!

Ask most business owners and managers about investment and they’ll tell you it’s an expensive business investing in the business.  I can see their point if you only think in terms of the financial cost now, the up-front kind of cost, and not the long-term benefit it brings.

But think about this for a moment, if we didn’t invest in the facilities we use, the people we employ, the levels of expectation and the cultural goals of getting along with each other and customers alike where do you think we’d be? Not in business I speculate.

Investment in facilities, in transport systems, in communications systems; the way we move stuff and ideas from place to place, this is the starting point. And let me tell you one thing in absolute certainty; investment in the infrastructure of moving stuff and ideas ALWAYS pays off. No exceptions, 100% of the time it pays off.  It may take more time than you’d like or first expect, but honestly it pays off.

Getting the right stuff in the correct amount to the right location at the right time, sounds simple enough. But, it’s so easy to get it wrong and this wastes time, it wastes money, and it wastes effort of your staff. Result; more cost (passed on to the customer) more time taken (and time once used is gone for ever). Such a waste.

Getting the right ideas and information to the right person in the format that they can use efficiently and effectively. Again sounds easy enough but get this wrong and guess what? Yes waste, wasted time, wasted money and wasted effort. Result; your project goes to the bottom of the priority pile, if you can’t be bothered to get it right then why should the person who you want to work on the idea?

Time-to-Invest

Okay so what should we do about this?

Give yourself the right infrastructure. If you don’t have it then build it or buy it or rent it. Better floors, appropriately sized machinery, managed and maintained equipment. Or the right speed of internet connection, enough wifi hotspots, the right kind of computers and software. All of these things will cost money for sure but if you don’t build, buy or rent then you aren’t investing in your business and you will very soon go out of business.

Education, Expectation and Culture; these too need investment of sorts.

What’s better than working with someone who knows what they’re doing and why and they do it in a positive way? The answer of course is we’d all like to work with people like that, and we can if we invest.

Training and learning are really important. Some of this can be done within the company but a lot must be done by outside agencies.  Academic learning is often frowned on by some as if it should have all been done before the person entered the workplace, well it should never stop if appropriate for this kind of learning.  Those who are trained and competent will almost always have a level of expectation of themselves and those they are working with.  Again investment is needed only for this aspect, its time that’s required. And time inevitably cost’s money.

Training, learning and expectation will give rise to a shift in culture which should be positive. Culture will dictate how your business performs and interacts with customers. Culture contributes to values and values to the quality of product and service.

So, tell me now that investment is expensive and you will find very quickly that it isn’t.

Not to invest is not to care. Not to care means you will go out of business.

Pointers on how investment should be handled;

Keep it centralised, the overall strategy must be served by and through the investment. This is not something you’d want to leave to chance so that you suffer strategic shift, that’s not an experience you necessarily want.

When you invest things get better. No exceptions. You have to invest across the board though so if you want staff to engage in digital marketing for example you need the right IT equipment, the right software, enough appropriate information, people either hired for the job or trained to do the job who all know what is to be achieved, by when and who’s responsible and what they get out of it for their efforts.

That’s investment and it isn’t expensive, it’s just not cheap. Investment of this kind pays off.

Thanks for reading.

Philip

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