We all do it. Sometimes, the desire or the need to buy that new piece of equipment or toy for our business overwhelms our logic and, before we know it, we no longer “gotsta have it,” we’ve got it and can’t return it.
Much to my chagrin, that little scenario has played out more than one time in the life of Camp Business and its parent company, Northstar Publishing. Because of it, we are the proud owner of a complex, efficient folding machine and gee-whiz postage meter (one that seals and stamps in one, efficient pass), but have discovered it’s much easier and more effective to let specialized, professional mailing companies (that have even more specialized equipment), handle all our big mailing projects.
Now, these two fancy, effective pieces of equipment are relegated to daily and monthly correspondence and, while I admit it’s fun to crank them up and use them, we’re not using them nearly enough to justify their cost. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same problem–say in the technology sector?
The problem, as always, is figuring out how to effectively quantify the time savings and/or efficiency that new piece of software (or whatever) will actually provide, and then whether that is enough to cover the cost of spending your cold, hard cash.
And that is where we’ve come down on the subject–by recognizing it’s always easier to spend money than to save money, we’ve become very critical of every new purchase–especially if it wasn’t in the original budget. Maybe a better way to describe it is the “pain principle.” When considering a new purchase, we intentionally do without to see if the pain will go away. It’s amazing, at least to me, how if we wait, the pain, the desire, the overwhelming need to bring that piece of equipment into the office just disappears.
The catch, and there’s always a catch, is that it’s immediately replaced by another “gotsta have it.” So, we apply the same principle and remain cautious and skeptical of ourselves and our interpretation of the current “need.”
The bottom line is always, will this purchase make a significant difference to you, our reader, and our advertisers. Will it make their lives better, easier? If so, boom, we’re on it. If not, then we move more slowly.
As you gear up for the biggest part of your camp year, I wish you success in fighting the “gotsta have its” and hope you’ll have much success in choosing products and services that improve the experience for your customers AND add to the bottom line.
Till next month,
Rodney J. Auth