Let’s talk about weighing opportunity cost for women entrepreneurs. What are you giving up by choosing one thing over another in your brand or small business? Particularly as women, society tells us to juggle it all and wear all the hats, and to glorify the hustle. I’ll be honest it’s exhausting just to hear the rhetoric.
And them there’s FOMO — Fear of Missing Out. You’ve heard it before, and it’s likely that as a woman business owner you feel it on a daily basis, thanks to social media and people’s highlight reels.
Wait, wait, I promise this post isn’t all doom and gloom.
Most women, when we’re considering business expenses, are looking purely at the dollar amount — the cost. What’s much harder to measure is the opportunity cost of every decision in your business. Every way you spend your time OR your money has a cost.
That’s what opportunity cost is all about, you’re giving your attention (and/or funds) to one thing over another thing. It’s what you give up when you make any choice in your business.
So I’d ask you this — when you’re making the next investment in your business, weigh the intangible benefits vs. cost (pro/con list style) of making that investment, and remember to include the opportunity cost.
This is an example of weighing the opportunity cost of professional photography for your brand or business:
Many costs are weighed here, but you’ll see the benefits listed mostly related to saved time and greater confidence and sense of calm about your workflow. Are these things valuable to us an entrepreneurs? I think the answer is overwhelemingly YES.
Entrepreneur.com talks about opportunity cost in this article, reminding us that saving money (just for the sake of saving money) shouldn’t always be our #1 goal. Before you roll your eyes and click away, let me share this snippet of the article:
“Not all money that is spent is a wasted resource, and there are numerous times where a growing small business can get significantly more value out of putting its cash toward a strategic investment than by letting excess funds just sit unused on the balance sheet.”
What they’re pointing to is the fact that some investments in your business are better than others — i.e. they bring you greater returns, whether measurable or not.
If you answered yes, think about ways to get more of those resources in your ‘basket.’ Maybe it’s investing in education to master a specific skill so that you feel more confident. Maybe it’s hiring a website designer, and finally giving your website the makeover it needs to reach your ideal clients. Maybe it’s hiring childcare 1-2 days a week so that you can work more on your business instead of just treading water. Maybe it’s a professional brand photographer to help you create photo content for your marketing, website, and social media and bring more revenue in the door.
Whatever it is for you, remember to truly WEIGH the Opportunity Cost, not just the dollar amount.
Remember to think about what you’re gaining when you trade your money for services or products — and not just the physical result, but the resulting emotional and mental benefits as well. When you invest well into your business, you can show up better for the people in your life (and the clients you already have), and you’ll have space to be a more fulfilled, joyful person.
So, what are some of the Opportunity Costs you need to weigh in your own business? What investments are worth it to you, for both the tangible AND the intangible benefits?