There’s No ROI Without the I

There is no denying that investing is an integral part of operating a business. It starts with an investment of time and passion, but there is far more to business investments than simply putting personal energy into the company. Equally important factors are how these investments can be used to grow the business and how to make wise and productive decisions for a business.

The “Where” Of Small Business Investments

Any growing business is sure to put a good deal of resources into its marketing department, but where should that investment go? Is it better to invest that money in-house or should the business spring for an outside marketing provider? The answer to these questions, like the answer to any business question, is complicated.

The obvious benefit to using an in-house marketing staff is that they are much easier to directly oversee and have creative control over. The downside, of course, is that many small businesses are unable to afford the hiring of additional staff to manage these marketing projects.

What about using an outside provider, then? Hiring freelancers means that there is no obligation to pay for an employee’s benefits or vacation days, but the work is still being done by trained professionals. Of course, there is less quality control with freelancers and business owners may be forced to sit back and accept a lack of control, which many people find uncomfortable. For some businesses, however, this option may be preferable to hiring additional marketing staff due to financial concerns.

Go Big Or Go Home

For businesses that choose to delegate the work to a freelancer, it is important not to skimp on this business venture. In a Forbes Article from 2013, the online marketing master Joshua Steimle discussed how to balance money-saving strategies with the need to spend money to make money. Using freelancers is a great way to spend a few extra dollars, but that does not mean that marketing should ever be financially neglected.

A good rule of thumb is for a business to look at how much their competitors are spending on marketing and aim to match that. According to Steimle, no business should pursue outside marketing assistance unless they are willing to dedicate at least $3,000 per month on their marketing efforts. This is to ensure that the business is able to receive a noticeable return on investment, or ROI.

Act With Confidence

At the end of the day, each business needs to decide what marketing efforts will benefit their unique financial situation. Marketing can never be treated as an unnecessary expense when pursuing new marketing opportunities, or that money will simply be wasted and there will be no returned growth to the business.

Whether a business decides to hire additional staff or go with qualified freelancers, the only way to grow a business is to put tangible investments into marketing. This decision can sometimes feel overwhelming or daunting, but making a decision and devising a strategy is a necessary part of being a business owner.

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