So, it’s June, tax time is just around the corner, and you’re in the enviable position of having made too much money and you’re looking for something to spend it on before the end of financial year. Or maybe you’re a not-for-profit who has surplus funds.
While we’d never advocate spending money simply for the sake of spending it, there are certainly things worth investing in that will have a positive impact on your business down the track. Here are nine ideas:
1. Team building
If you’re a business owner, you know how valuable it is to have good people working for you. It’s important to show them you appreciate them, and it’s also useful to get them out of the office to have some fun. Team building activities are a great way to do this and gone are the days of boring seminars and lame trust exercises. Today most team building companies offer outdoor events and adventure-type activities. If you’re in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, I highly recommend my friend Cate’s business Team Bonding. If you’re in Perth, talk to another of my friends, Malini Parker, about running her amazing one-day painting for beginner’s workshop for you.
2. Stock up the library
Oh, the money I’ve spent on business books over the years. These are the ten that most impacted my business life. Here’s a book I wrote specially for fellow business owners. And my friend Jeff Goins recently released Real Artists Don’t Starve, a book written especially for creative professionals.
3. Get a magazine subscription
Business magazines tend to be a little hit and miss but Nathan Chan’s Foundr Magazine is next level. Over the past few years he’s managed to secure interviews with Richard Branson, Ariana Huffington, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk to name a few. The magazine doesn’t just promise ‘talks, tips, and tools you need to build a game-changing business’ – it actually delivers.
4. Get your blog happening
If you’ve been reading the Swish blog for any period of time, you’re already convinced about the power of blogging for your business. But you’re busy, you’re ‘not a writer’, and you just don’t have the time or resources to commit to it – right? Then you should head to Copify. They got a big team of Australian copywriters, all ready to write blog posts for you, at a very competitive rate.
5. Change your accounting software
If you’re currently using an account system that’s not doing the job for you (for us, that was MYOB) and you’d like to switch over to something that actually plays nicely with other programs (for us, that was Xero), the end of June is the ideal time to do this as it means you’re starting the new financial year with the new software. We moved our other business over to Xero after the first quarter of a financial year had already finished, and I can’t tell you how much pain that caused. So, if you’re going to move, do it now. If you’re moving to Xero, give these guys a call.
If there’s an online course you’ve been eyeing off, this is probably a good time to purchase it. Not just because you’ve got surplus cash to spend, but also because July tends to be a quiet month for many businesses (which means you’ll actually have time to do the course!). Flying Solo has an amazing self-paced online course for those who work for themselves from home while Lynda.com, Udemy and Tuts Plus all offer a huge range of courses for specific skills.
7. Join a business mastermind
Some of the biggest jumps we’ve made in our business lives have been thanks to the business mastermind groups we’re part of. There are lots of free groups out there but my experience has been that the paid groups are higher quality, and also the founder of the mastermind tends to be more active in them (which I think is important). The two I’m part of are Dan Norris’s Mastermind Group and James Schramko’s SuperFastBusiness. Both worth every penny I’ve ever spent and then some.
8. Buy that conference ticket
As an introvert at the extreme end of the scale, I love nothing more than interacting with people from behind the safety of my laptop screen. And I’ve managed to build some great relationships that way. But even I have to admit that the relationships I’ve been able to build in real life by attending conferences in person are the best business relationships I’ve made. So, if there’s a conference you have your eye on attending, and you’re umming and ahhing about it … grab your ticket now. You won’t regret it.
9. Get a branding audit
Yes, I know, this one is a bit self-serving. But it is our blog post after all. We see so many businesses out there who are struggling to get noticed by the ‘right’ kind of client, and it’s almost always because they’re not sure what their brand is. This makes all their marketing efforts weak because it lacks a coherent and unified message. If it feels like the ‘right’ kind of client is continually passing by your business, it might be time for a brand audit. (Click here to find out what that entails.)
To wrap up
As I said at the top of this piece – don’t spend money just for the sake of spending money at the end of this financial year. Check in with your accountant first. If they give you the go ahead, hopefully the ideas above will prove helpful 😊