The Real ROI

As I was researching starting a business, I kept coming across the phrase Return on Investment or ROI. Everything that was successful seemed to be determined by measuring ROI. I immediately started to figure out ways to maximize my returns. Every decision I made had a detailed and calculated approach to not only get a good to great return, but also having a detailed measurement approach. The calculations were simple: Net Profit / Total Investment * 100. It is so simple right, well..... now I am not so sure, you see when I started out, I focused on being able to help others. I kept my prices affordable for everyone, because overhead and financial investments were somewhat minimal. What I was investing was my time, time away from my family, hobbies and other potential higher earning jobs. Based on the formula above though, my initial ROI was incredible. Our main focus was events and doing wedding videos. I was having fun, meeting with brides and feeling like I was truly helping them, I squeezed and adjusted my prices for a few brides, because I wanted to truly help them. I could also use more content to use promotionally for future jobs. As I said it was fun, then when we were looking into booking more events, one thing became abundantly clear, we NEEDED good insurance. The upscale venues we were looking to work in require vendors to have insurance, so we did it but still kept pricing low. My hope by lowering my prices to help, was that couples would give us great reviews and blow us up on Social media, we did get reviews and they were all good. However it occurred to me that once the wedding was over and the video was given, we would have about a 1 to 2 day period where the couple would post and comment about our company. I am not sure why I thought they would be anything other than what I was when I got married, which was a newlywed who now had a completely different life and focus. I wouldn't have been on Social media seeking out opportunities to promote a company with my new bride at home. Even if the service that company provided was amazing. If it came up in conversations organically, sure I would recommend them but that is it. My return on Investment for Facebook ads, was amazing as far as the stats went, but I still didn't feel like we were winning. Then I figured out why, I understood what the real ROI needs to be in order to you to truly thrive in business and I will even say life. It is not measured by the formula above. This true ROI is simple, how many relationships did you develop from the job. Ironically enough, on a few of the weddings I did, I developed relationships with not only the Bride and Groom but their families as well. I have received additional business referrals from them. (Thank you again) I also began to focus on another passion I had, which was to meet local business leaders and do video production work with them. The ones that I developed relationships with have used us again, and again. Why though, our service was not any different from the other clients, other than talking with them about all kinds of different topics, not just work. Literally the only difference is the relationship aspect. We formed strong bonds and we are comfortable utilizing each other and definitely recommending each other to friends and family. You see if you focus on the numbers you will win some and lose some, if your focus is the relationships you will always win, because you will always get not only repeat business, but new business referrals generated directly from the relationship. You can also never fail because it is never too late to reach out to them to keep developing the relationship. That is how I now measure my success. How many relationships did I develop with each job? One thing I have learned too is to be selective in working with clients who value quality and not just looking for cheapest price. I will still work with people on pricing that is just who I am, but I have learned to tell the difference between those just price seeking and those looking for quality service and I choose to go with them. I am selecting them because as a service professional, I need to be able utilize the video on Social Media for future promotional material, those looking for cheapest price usually the video locations are not the most aesthetically appealing for shooting. Also those who look for quality and value over simple price generally really appreciate it when they get it. They give the best reviews and understand the relationship aspect as value as well. The Impact I have found from this approach has been incredible, in fact I now think of ROI as this R-Relationships O-Offer I-Impact. I seek ROI because I seek the impact it can provide in all aspects of my life not just the business with me but how we can help each other moving forward.


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