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How do you decide what kind of investment is right for you and your business? There are so many options in the online space, and it can be overwhelming to try and decide which direction to go.

The good news is that there are some ways to discern what kind of investment to make, and I’m going to share them with you in this episode. I’ll share several of the most common investments you can make, the pros and cons of each, and the typical investment level. I’ll also share some key questions to ask before making your investment.

2 Principles that are important about investing in your business:

  • You should continually be investing in yourself and your business.
  • It’s important to invest in the right thing at the right time.

 

5 Types of Potential Business Investments

Courses

This is a good investment if you are looking to learn a specific skill. Also good for when you are newer in business and need a plan to follow but perhaps are not ready for a coaching investment.

  • Pros: Often can be super helpful and can give you excellent strategies. Good for  self-starters or DIYer. Usually it’s teaching a proven system or method that the course provider has developed.
  • Cons: Often can get stuck if you’re not a self starter; you don’t get things implemented. Can be a cookie cutter approach. Can lead to you being frustrated if the method doesn’t align with your business, your personality, or your goals. sSometimes things can be out of date.
  • Investment can be anywhere from $27 to $2,000 depending on the type of course.

Examples: My own Podcast in a Weekend Mini-Course or Webinar Gorgeous from Funnel Gorgeous*

 

Membership

Good for training or development that requires ongoing support. 

  • Pros: The leaders are usually there to support you and answer questions. Materials and content stay fresh because they are usually updated.
  • Cons: If you’re not actively utilizing it, you may not get the value out of a membership. If you’re in too many of these, you will likely not be implementing much of what is being taught.
  • Investment can be $47/month to $200/month.

Examples: HopeWriters* or a FB ads membership.

 

Coaching

This can come in the form of 1:1 or group coaching. It’s good for someone who’s gotten her business off the ground or is ready to move quickly (like when I joined the program early into my biz). Generally speaking it’s good for someone who is already making some income.

  • Pros: You get customized support especially if it’s 1:1 or group coaching with a 1:1 aspect. Usually the coach can help you move towards your goals more quickly than on your own. You generally receive accountability to take action.
  • Cons: If you choose the wrong coach, you can be out a lot of money. The investment is higher than the previous options.
  • Investment can be $300/month to several thousand per month depending on the level of coaching you’re receiving. Group coaching is often less of an investment than 1:1.

Example: Strategy Sessions or coaching options with me. Email business (at) estherlittlefield.com for more info.

 

Masterminds

Masterminds take place in a group setting, typically with other people at a similar level of business to you. They are good for those who are well established in their business and may not need as much 1:1 coaching or strategy but want a network.

  • Pros: You can get a lot of support and ideas. The networking and connections can be very powerful.
  • Cons: If the group is not formed well, you may end up with personalities or levels of business that don’t’ align with yours. If you’re an ideas person, you may jump around to new ideas shared in the mastermind instead of sticking with your strategies.
  • Investment can be similar to group coaching or sometimes even more, as much as $25 or $50K per year. This is often for high level biz owners who are there for the networking and the other people in the room. 

 

Certification

This is a good option when you need to learn a particular skill set that you can then utilize in the marketplace. It is almost always something that will allow you to up-level your business, charge higher rates, and increase your credibility in your market.

  • Pros: Typically a structured curriculum with proven methods that you can learn. Very hands-on and actionable.
  • Cons: May not make sense unless you can recoup your investment.
  • Investment can be ranging from $3,000 to 10K and up. 

Example: The Director of Operations Certification from The Ops Authority*

 

How do you decide which investment is right for you?

It’s important to note that there can be combos of all of these types of things. Some courses include coaching. Some are truly DIY. Some masterminds include coaching. Some coaching includes access to courses. 

There are no absolutes in this discussion, and deciding which option is right for you is not 100% about the “container” it comes in. It’s more important to be aware of the results that you should receive from the program you are investing in.

Questions to ask yourself when considering your options:

  • What do you need to learn right now? If it’s a specific skill, a course or certification might be the best option.
  • How long have you been in business? If it’s a shorter time (less than 3 years), you may want to lean towards courses or coaching. If you’ve been in business longer or are more established, look at coaching, membership, or masterminds.
  • Are you a self-starter or do you need accountability?
  • Do you need help with strategy? Then coaching may be the best option.
  • Do you want a network? A mastermind is a good choice. Memberships and group coaching could also provide this.
  • Do you want customized help based on your unique business and goals? Coaching is the way to go.

Make sure you vet the coach or mentor before purchasing. Many programs have no refunds which means you’ll be out money if you find out the coach is not a good fit.

Questions to ask about the program or mentor/coach/trainer:

  • What are their qualifications for teaching this thing? 
  • Do they have some kind of evidence that they have done this with/for others?
  • What’s included in the program? What will you actually get? (example: content, materials, swipe files, coaching calls, etc.)
  • How long do you have access to the coach and/or the materials? 
  • Do you align with their values and methods?
  • What’s the approach of the leader? (Hands on vs. removed)

 

Personally I have invested in all of the 5 types of programs listed above. In some cases, they have not been the best option for me at that time. But almost all of them have benefited my business in one way or another.

What kind of investment is right for you? Even if you’re not sure, I recommend that you start setting aside a % of your income each month for professional development. That way, when you are ready for that next program, you’ll have the money set aside and you’ll be ready to make a wise investment.

 

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