4 Investments Every Startup Owner Should Make This Year

4 Investments Every Startup Owner Should Make This Year
Image credit: Jamie Grill | Getty Images

Whenever I hear that a startup has just invested in another company or a new product line, the questions that come to mind usually occur in the following sequence: Is it needed? How long till it becomes profitable? What can possibly go wrong with this acquisition?

Related: 10 Answers That Will Make Your Startup Plan Worthy of Investment

Clearly, any investment by a startup can either make or mar its future. So, if you're investing, make sure that the project has the potential to make you money in the long run. Here are four things every startup owner should invest in this year. All four have the potential to yield remarkable ROI for you -- in the long run.

1. The 'Rule of 200'

The Rule of 200 taught me simply that if I want to consistently get clients to come to me, I need to reach out to a minimum of 200 people per month, by phone, in person or by email. To make these numbers simpler and more measurable, I need to reach out to 10 people every working day.

Before my business partner and I came into contact with this rule, we lacked a strong client base. We were still waiting for clients to reach out to us. But they never did. And even when they did, the infrequency produced only a trickle of clients.

After investing our time, energy and money into making sure we reached a minimum of 200 people every month, however, we started seeing a consistent influx of clients.

Related: Become a Networking Beast by Following This 5-Step Plan

2. A quality online presence

A quality online presence is the most important investment to make for your startup this year. Other smart entrepreneurs are already online trying to dominate their respective niches. So, don’t be left behind. Consider that:

These numbers show how eager customers are to buy products online. But they only buy them from websites that can be easily discovered because of a strong online presence. For instance, big-name, multimillion-dollar sites, like HubSpot in the United States, and Price Raja in India, all became popular because of their strong online presence.

If your own startup doesn’t get many leads from the internet, the reason may be that your site isn't discoverable and your online presence isn’t strong. Do you want to be seen? Then start blogging in your niche.

Invest in starting a blog for your startup along with your website. Use that blog as a front to show your prospective customers that you know your field. This way, prospective clients will find and contact you.

3. Constructive thinking

In a world of email and work overload, plus family responsibilities, people tend to forget the importance of deep thinking. Many people find it extremely hard to remove themselves to a quiet place to reflect on things and come up with solutions to pressing issues. Don’t be one of them. Instead, learn the art of innovative thinking.

Think of how to get your turnover up to six or seven figures every month. Think of how to stay ahead of the competition, how to increase your customer base, etc. Think out problems that don't yet exist and develop a solution to deploy if those problems arise.

Be a habitual creative thinker.

You may lose many precious minutes and hours in the process of investing in thinking, but in the end, you’ll find out that every second spent in this activity is well worth it.

4. What makes your competitors stick

All fast-rising businesses have strategies they strictly follow to make them grow fast. Invest your time, energy and money to find out they do that makes them who they are.

Study their mission statement: What are they made of? How different is it from yours? What goals are they setting that you aren’t?

Break down your competitor’s product-marketing strategy: What are the steps they take to get top-notch products that sell thousands or even millions? How can you utilize those steps in your business?

Study their client acquisition strategy: Try to identity the different, automated funnels they use to consistently get clients. Are they working effectively? Which strategies work best? And many times have they changed how they get clients?

Yes, I know that what I’m saying seems like stalking. But, as a rule, never let your competitor surprise you.

Related: You Are Your Only Real Competition

Invest in these things, and you’ll surely take your startup higher than you ever imagined.