I spent the first quarter of 2017 investing into new contractors, systems, and services to help scale my business and automate a sales funnel. Everything is built out and now we’re moving into running Facebook ads. This also means its time for me to wait for my return on investment.
If you’re anything like me, then waiting for your return on investment can cause you a lot of stress. Simply put, returns don’t happen overnight and when you’ve invested time and money into something it’s almost painful to have to wait to see whether or not it will work.
With that being said, I’ve been in this position a couple of times already so I’m better equipped to handle the waiting game. Here are some of my tips to help you cultivate patience as you wait for your return on investment.
See it as an experiment.
One of the things that have helped me as I wait for my return on investment is to see the entire process as an experiment.
For instance, I’m currently running split tests on Facebook ads. Since I’m a little bit of a data nerd, I’m actually less stressed about the money I’ve spent on testing and more excited to see how the data turns out.
The entire process has become fun to me because I almost see it as a game. How can I improve? How can I get better ROI from my ads? What gender and age group are responding well to my ad?
All of these data points fascinate me as I become a better market and better business person.
(Note; This is also why I say that people who go into business for themselves have to actually like the nature of business in order to succeed. Otherwise, this will drive you nuts.)
Realize it’s just money.
This may sound absurd coming from a personal finance blogger, but when you’re in the process of investing money you need to realize that it’s just money.
I used to get very emotional about my finances. This led to bad money decisions and avoiding investing in my business because of a fear of risk.
But, as a personal finance blogger, I’ve also learned that there’s always risk involved with investing – whether that’s investing in your business or in the stock market.
There’s also risk in not investing. You could either have your money sit there and not earn a return, or you could invest it and make more money. I’ll take the latter, thank you very much.
Additionally, money is just a tool that really doesn’t need us to interject our own emotions into it. That’s actually what gets people into trouble.
Instead, we need to learn to look at money objectively. This is especially true when we’re taking on some risk in an effort to see a return. This Zen-like approach will help you keep your wits about you as you wait for the return on investment.
Realize investing is a long game.
Investing in the stock market is a long game, and I’d venture to say that investing in your business isn’t much different. Remembering this will help you during that period when you’re waiting for a return on investment.
Granted, you could have much higher returns with your business and it may not take you as long as investing in the stock market for 30 years, but the point I’m trying to make is investing of any kind takes some time to manifest into returns.
Since I’ve been on this ride a couple of times already, I know I have to give it at least three to six months upon implementing new strategies before I really should start seeing a return on investment.
I can probably get a return sooner (and have already started to see one), but I know it can take a while before it really takes off.
Know where the return is supposed to come from.
If you know how an investment is supposed to lead to more money, then it will be easier to wait for the return on investment.
For instance, I know Facebook ads will give me a return in email opt-ins, coaching clients and product sales.
I also know that spending $200 to test ads won’t seem like much if I can land a $1500 a month contract just from the test ads. In other words, the potential to make money is there even if I’m still in a testing stage.
Granted, this is something you need to figure out before you actually invest. I wouldn’t have hired someone to help with Pinterest images and management if I didn’t already know that more traffic via Pinterest meant more affiliate sales from my website.
I also wouldn’t have started running Facebook ends if I didn’t know what the end goal was. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes business owners make when investing money is not having clarity about where the return is supposed to come from.
If you don’t know where the return on investment is supposed to come from or how to measure it, then halt the investments until you can clearly pinpoint it. Once you’ve got a clear map of where the money is to come from and how it’s coming, then you can resume with your investments.
Actually, use what you invested in.
I spent the last few weeks building out every part of an email sales funnel, testing copy, creating a presentation and connecting everything via my email marketing system. This all cost time and money so you can bet I’m going to use it.
I also started implementing everything I’d learned at a business retreat in Puerto Rico so that I’d be ready to start running ads in the second quarter. This also cost money, so I wanted to make sure I actually used what I spent money to learn.
One of the issues I sometimes see with business owners is they don’t actually use what they pay for. They hire coaches without showing up to sessions, they buy courses but don’t actually take them and they take an eternity to implement the things they learned at an event.
Stop wasting your time and money and start using what you’ve actually invested in. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself wondering why nothing is working.
While waiting for a return on investment can be frustrating, it is a part of the process. Keep these things in mind to help calm your nerves as you invest in your business.