Whew. Tax season is over, amiright!? Not going to lie, each quarter/year I stress a bit about what scary number is going to pop up that I owe.
It’s natural to fear this unknown expense, but I do have a healthy dose of confidence that comes with it. Though I’m a frugal person by nature, I’m actually a pretty heavy spender in my business. I believe in investing to grow my business in a way that allows less work while achieving more growth in the direction I want to pursue.
Investing in your business will not only help you grow your business, it will also significantly reduce the amount you pay in taxes. If you feel like perhaps you paid too much in 2016’s taxes, I want to help you get on track for 2017.
We can learn a thing or two from big businesses who report minimal profit each year. This is a real thing that happens, and they’re able to do so through legitimately through reinvesting in their business. Amazon is just one of many companies who’ve operated like this in the past years. In fact, in its 23 years in business, it rarely reports profits. They always emphasized growth over profits… which we can learn from as small businesses.
I find this topic so interesting, and love to hear how fellow small businesses wisely invest in their business. I’m sharing a few ways that I’m reinvesting in my business this year, to help ease my taxes for next year :). You with me!?
Get your messaging on point
Though I enjoy writing articles and content for my courses, I find the whole “copywriting for conversions” thing a scary feat. I reached out to a copywriter who I adore this year to help with promotions for my Share-worthy Design course, and let me tell you. It. Was. Worth. It. I kept telling her I don’t care as much about the revenue, and simply just want copywriting that I’m not embarrassed by. Whelp — she not only delivered confident writing that felt like my voice, but I also doubled my revenue from my previous launch. (Insert wide-eyed emoji here!).
Anywho, I’m not going to make this article all about sales numbers — just not my style — but I felt that I should tell you that wise investments pay for themselves and then some. Copywriting (along with quality branding + photography) are well worth the investment to convert window-shoppers to loyal customers.
Design that matches the quality of your business
If you’re at a tipping point in your business, it’s time to invest in quality branding. Maybe you DIY’ed your logo before or paid for a low price band-aid solution that no longer fits the quality of your brand. Once you have a quality brand design under your belt, your potential customers + clients will instantly gain trust in your business. You’ll no longer be embarrassed by that first impression, and instead will feel confident that your design finally caught up to the quality of your offerings.
If that’s you, we’re here to help! We love working with brands that are clear on their vision and just need that push visually to match. Not to mention — of course, this would be a great investment that pays for itself, as well as serves as a deduction :). You can just hit reply and I’ll set up a time to chat!
Uplevel your freelance business
If upping your freelance game is on your business resolutions list this year, I’ve got ya covered. Enrollment for Share-worthy Design — my complete blueprint for taking your freelance dreams to full-time status — opens up in late June this year! I’m adding loads of new lessons + resources to the course this summer (don’t worry, if you’re a current student you get access fo’ free), and I can’t wait. I’m including this freelance course in my investments roundup as a not-so-shameless plug because I really believe it is well worth the investment. It is a tool I wish existed when I first started my business that could show me the ropes of working with clients (without frustration) and confidently delivering the one logo solution. Not to mention, a community of like-minded freelancers to boot.
Gain clarity on your business
One thing I’ve learned in my business is that it evolves. When I first started Spruce Rd., I had a different “ideal client” in mind. After a few years in business, that “ideal client” has shifted. Partly intentionally, but also somewhat naturally. This year I want to gain clarity on who it is that we serve best. In my head it is a jumbled mess of different audiences, so I’ve reached out to a business coach to help me make sense of things! Through reaching out to a trusted outsider perspective you will gain so much clarity. If anything else, it will be validation that you’re going in the right direction, or that it is okay to shed aspects of your business.
Invest in your team
One of my largest investments over the past few years has been in my team. I originally started Spruce Rd. as a solo venture, and it has since expanded into a stacked team that I couldn’t be more proud of! I employ the “hire people better than you” mentality and am seriously so grateful for this team of designers, design assistants, photographers, and illustrators. I still get giddy each sketch I open from my team before we reveal to our clients.
If you’re looking to grow your team for whatever reason, I can’t recommend it enough. I’m creating a class on how we structure our team (and all the logistics) if you’ve got questions on this topic, we’ve got you covered. Overall, this is one investment I strongly encourage every small business to make. Whether you’re limited on time and need a hand, or just want more time to spend with loved ones, investing in your team is well worth it.
Take a retreat
This may seem frivolous, but it’s really not. Taking some time to invest in your business is crucial. I recently took a “mastermind retreat” with a couple designer pals of mine and it was so rejuvenating. I left with clarity in my business, inspiration and valuable conversations that can’t be matched with friends outside of our industries. Set aside a long weekend to re-evaluate your business, write that book, plan out your year, or create something new. You can enjoy the retreat with friends, or book some time for yourself! It’s a valuable investment that continues to pay for itself throughout the year. I reference those conversations years later and am so thankful for the time set aside for Spruce Rd.
Get your legal + finances in order
Though investing in setting things up the right way isn’t necessarily a fun investment, it is one that I continue to pursue. We’ve hired an accountant since day one, and I can’t tell you how much money we’ve saved from doing so. As small business owners, our expenses and income aren't as simple as it used to be while working full-time. Sometimes these expenses get intertwined with our personal finances, which is why an accountant is a great resource. They can help you deduct things you would be afraid to on your own. They’ll help you pay less in taxes in an ethical way. Long story short, don’t be too frugal to not hire an accountant. It really pays for itself and gives you peace of mind that you’re doing things right.
I’ve also invested in professional contracts (some templates, some custom) for our services. This year I’m finally getting trademarked. These are the investments that make Spruce Rd. legit, which gets me excited.
If getting your legal and financial systems is a point of concern for you or your business, stay tuned! My husband is putting together a class that will cover the legal and financial basics of Spruce Rd., and it’ll definitely help put you in the right direction.