Friday, April 26, 2013

What Would I Do With $20K?

I recently read a great article by Lisa Jacobs which asked the question, "What would you do if you had $20,000 to invest in your business?"  This little prompt is supposed to help you think about expanding your business and making some long-term goals, so I'm going to go ahead and make my own list:

What would I do if I had $20,000 to invest in Buttons and Things?

1.  NEW EQUIPMENT: The button press that I own is not the fanciest, but it is perfectly fine for the sales volume I have right now.  However, one updated piece of equipment that I could use right now is an automatic circle cutter, which would speed up button production immensely.

2.  MY OWN WEBSITE: I already have a website set up for my shop that points users to etsy.  What I'm talking about here is a full-on e-commerce website where I can cut out the middle-man.  That would be cool.

3.  ADS EVERYWHERE: The only place I advertise right now is through etsy's search ads.  I have dabbled with placing ads on facebook and on ravelry, but never stuck with it because I was getting a pretty low ROI....  but wouldn't it be cool if ROI wasn't a factor (initially) and I had an unlimited advertising budget so I could try out lots of places to reach knitters and other creative people?

4.  HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT: Sometimes I get really into my social media efforts, and other times I just let all my networks languish.  Wouldn't it be great to have a virtual assistant on call who could monitor your social media marketing whenever you just aren't feeling it?

5.  CUT MY HOURS BACK AT MY DAY JOB: Right now I would classify my etsy shop as more of a hobby than an actual business. What's the difference?  A hobby is something you do when you (1) feel like it and (2) have spare time.  On the other hand, a business is something that you need to tend to even if you are busy and even if you're really not feeling it today.  It's hard to treat my shop as anything other than a hobby when I'm already working a full time job, so, if I really had $20K to spend, I'd invest a good portion of it on subsidizing my income so I could devote a few "business hours" each day to the shop and not try to cram everything in during my "free time."

Where does this leave me?

Honestly, I'm a little lost on how I can take this list and turn it into actionable goals.  I guess I would have to say that, of the five things listed, number five is probably my biggest priority.  I think that having more quality time to devote to my business is going to be the most important thing to it's growth.  I don't really need the fancy equipment or hired help as much as I need to put my full effort into the shop.  Since I don't have $20K (yet!) I can't afford to devote several hours a week to this, but maybe I could convince myself to just find as little as 15 minutes a day, every day, to devote to my biz.  This is such a small amount of time that it won't require me to cut back my hours at my day job, but it won't (inordinately) cut into my free time either.  OK!  It's a plan!

What do you think?  What would you do if you had $20K?


  1. Twenty thousand dollars is a huge help for starting a business. But in all that you’ve mentioned, I think number 2 and 3 are the most likely options that people will invest in. Because business owners know the possible benefits of being visible online.

    Della Meyer @ Spark Local Marketing

    1. I agree. And you don't even need a nearly a $20K investment to get online, so it is really a very do-able thing for most handmade business owners.