What Return on Investment Really Means for Your Business and It’s NOT Just Cash

ROI or Return on Investment for your business

LEt’s talk about return on investment! I don’t think there is a marketing concept that makes me cringe quite like Return on Investment (ROI)…and it probably isn’t the reason you think it is.

I love having a goal for return on investment, I’m an experimenter and tracker and analyzer of EVERYTHING I do in my business. And knowing what I want my ROI to be helps me do that. Without knowing what my goals are before I get started is a big no-no for me.

But my problem with ROI is that I come across so many people talking about ROI only with how it relates to money. And yes a big part of what you want to get back from your efforts but it isn’t the only thing. Which I’ll get into in just a bit. But first I want to talk a bit about investing which I feel like people also don’t talk about the full story when it comes to investing.


Investing in yourself is so, so, so important in your business and in your life. If you never invested in yourself you would never grow or get closer to your dreams. Investing in yourself includes time, energy, brain power, and MONEY! But not only money!

Money is only one component of investing.

And let’s be honest. If you only invested money in a course, program, service but you didn’t invest any time in learning the information or invest any time in taking action from what you learned you aren’t going to get very far.

I hear this all the time in the online world. I purchased this course or that program but I didn’t carve out enough time and it is just sitting there.

Do you have unfinished or unstarted courses that you’ve spent money on but didn’t invest your time? What kind of ROI do you think you will get from that? What ROI did you expect when you paid??

Explore what your ROI could be…

Now that we’ve talked about several different resources that you could invest let’s talk about what some of the possibilities that could be your ROI.

  • page views
  • follower growth
  • feeling more confident and clear
  • feeling a sense of happiness
  • having a plan
  • getting out of your comfort zone
  • building relationships
  • getting engagement
  • clients/sales

Your ROI is way more than and should be more than just money. Money while it feels like it’s the awesome end goal and helps you stay in business it’s really secondary to growing your business.

What do you mean?

Your ROI should support your goals and help you grow. But if you aren’t getting new eyes on your products and services and growing your follower/visitors/list money will be a struggle always.

But when you focus on things like learning to grow your list, feeling confident in your message, and developing a plan for your visibility the money will come because you’re growing the potential client pool that you are exposed to.

If you did only focus on money as your ROI from let’s say a coaching program, you would miss out on building strong foundational strategies that help you create a sustainable business. If you are only valuing an ROI that gives you the money you invest back you will end up having a very short-sighted strategy to get this ROI. And then you’ll more than likely be at square one again.

What can you do?

My hope is that when you invest and you choose what ROIs you value for that investment you always choose something along with money. And don’t just leave it at money because sometimes the lines between what you’ve gotten out of a program, course, or whatever it is you’ve invested in aren’t as clear as we would like it to be.

Finding clarity may lead you to directly booking more clients but that process is a lot less clear than measuring an ROI of feeling confident in your message and being able to put yourself out there with ease to get visible. And through getting visible and confidently spreading your message you begin attracting your dream clients to you. And getting more money in the process.

I always suggest that when you are looking for an investment you have a clear idea about what you want to learn during the process. What you want to get out of a course or a program. I know I hired a coach with the expectation that my ROI would be supported around an upcoming launch. When I hired her I didn’t expect that she would help me sell spots, or I would get enough clients to cover the cost of the program. I expected to be able to find clarity when questions popped up and that she would help give me options and brainstorm with me.

I would have been seriously disappointed if I expected my only ROI to be money. To be transparent my launch flopped I didn’t sell a single space in the program, that’s a different story altogether. BUT because my goal was to be supported my coach helped me evaluate my strategy, my program, my copy and through that I discovered I was OUT of alignment with where I was going and I needed to rework several things before putting another offer out.

I am in a much better and clearer space now than where I was. I got a huge ROI from working together through that experience. Rather than being bitter and sad that I didn’t hit my goal and could have stayed there since that would have been my ROI if I hadn’t ALSO chosen support and clarity as a ROI for the program.

One more note!

Please, please, please be aware of what people are saying you will get from a program. Be skeptical. If it sounds too good to be true and a little voice in your head is saying… hmmm I wonder how they can say that is a result. Then dig deeper and ask questions. It’s ok to ask for more information.

Some results that pop into my head…

  • SEO services. Guarantee the first-page result, I would want more information about their strategies for this. Page one results are very competitive and it is really hard to say that it will happen within one month of working with someone.
  • 5K in 5 days. Ask yourself how long it took them to get to that 5 days. Sometimes it’s years of trial and error before that happens. You don’t have to avoid the program or the coach just ask for more details and back story!
  • Grow your group by thousands in 24 hours. Just like hitting the lottery this makes it sounds like a right place right time right person situation. And it may take more than 24 to get the systems in place you need to grow your group!

Now it’s your turn!

What do you want to get out of your most recent investment? Or an investment that you are thinking about that isn’t money?? Let me know in the comments.

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investing in your business and what you can get back from it, online business, solopreneur, investments
investing in your business and what you can get back from it, online business, solopreneur, investments
ROI or Return on Investment for your business
ROI or Return on Investment for your business

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