CHRISTINA GERAKITEYS: Put aside the time to invest in your business

Six Ways to Effectively Invest Your Time and Money

We are constantly hearing about ‘‘cuts’’ to business, mining, manufacturing, health and education. 

Unfortunately, what results from continuous cutting and no investment is usually more cutting. Here are six ways you can invest in your business without breaking the bank.

 Invest in the right people. 

Surprisingly, that doesn’t mean employing for the perfect skill set. Business guru Jim Collins insists that you need to get the right people on your team, in the roles essential for your business to flourish. 

This is priority No.1. Investing the time to establish what those roles are, and then in finding the right people to fill them, will save you time and money long term. 

Just as crucial is a total alignment of personal and business values. 

How can we have one set of values when we walk into work every day and another when we walk out? 

How can anyone perform at their peak when their heart is not in it? 

Skills can be learnt, values and commitment can’t.

 Demonstrate leadership. 

Leaders need to empower teams to make decisions, create a portal for fresh ideas and still make the tough calls. Working relationships are just like all others. 

They need to be nurtured and, without a culture of trust, respect and permission to fail, innovation will be a pipedream. 

Find a mentor or coach. 

Robert Noyce wrote, “Knowledge is power, knowledge shared is power multiplied’’. 

Find someone who will stretch, even push, your thinking and skills further. 

Once this knowledge culture is adopted, it spreads throughout the entire business. 

 Networking is important. 

Unfortunately, networking has become a little lost in ‘‘marketing’’. How many times have you heard events referred to as ‘‘great networking opportunities’’? 

Truth is, they are, but only if you make the effort to meet new people, know what your business offers, and strategically select the events that provide suitable opportunities for your customer base. 

All other events/functions/lunches/breakfasts are optimum learning opportunities. See point six.

Create awareness about your business. 

Before consumers can consume your product, they have to know about it.

Social media are powerful. And yes, they can consume you. 

So get savvy and investigate the platforms and peak times your target audience is using it and program input into your promotions schedule.

Novocastrian Linda Drummond created the #SPC Sunday Campaign, suggesting that if everyone bought a can of peaches on a Sunday (I remember sliced peaches served with ice-cream at Sunday lunch), it would send a message of support to SPC workers who were facing job loss. The campaign went viral, Woolworths entered into a lucrative contract with SPC, and the factory doors stayed open. That’s powerful! 

 Create time to think, read and share ideas. 

Do not consider this a luxury because it is a necessity. 

Can’t find time? Ponder this. Bill Gates has ‘‘think week’’, Mark Zuckerberg reads a new book a fortnight, the CommBank has an internal platform for employees to submit ideas for seed funding, and Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day. 

If you don’t create the space for stimulation, where will ideas come from? 

Try it. Just for a week.

When embarking on our business journey, investment of time and money are a given. Somewhere along the way we get caught up in the processes and daily tasks. 

Start with committing to one investment at a time. 

The results will surprise you. 

Christina Gerakiteys is business adviser to the creative industries at The Business Centre and the facilitator of the Rippler Effect Innovation Program.

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