In the information age, it is easy to think that everybody’s business is simply an electronic entity. With so much e-commerce, social media activity, and website work, it’s no wonder we get that impression.
But of course, it’s not true. There are still many businesses out there that perform real services and produce tangible products. To complete those tasks, they need real equipment.
This is where many entrepreneurs wander off the path. There is always a balancing act for owners and managers between spending more than they need to and less than they should. Equipment is notorious in this regard. Not only is there the issue of initial cost, but there can also be costs associated with training, maintenance, and repair, along with depreciation and other tax issues.
With margins so tight and competition so fierce, many businesses are tempted to equip themselves on the cheap. They struggle to justify the capital outlay it takes to go top-drawer on everything they buy. But a careful examination of the facts reveals a sound thought process for analyzing the situation. That’s the best way to determine which options for saving money will actually save you money now and later, and which options will undermine your business.
The first and best reason to utilize appropriate specialized equipment is that it simply works better. While it’s true that one could theoretically use an ordinary chair of some kind with a footstool to do pedicures and foot massages, there’s a very good reason to get a pedicure massage chair instead. First of all, as a personal care service, this type of work requires equipment that can be appropriately cleaned between clients.
In addition, when you as the technician are working several hours a day with the chair, you will quickly find that your service will be better and your comfort will be higher when you use a chair that’s truly designed for the job.
Efficiency will be higher too. Your bar will function much more smoothly with a single tap system for all your beers, as opposed to a rigged-up maze of lines and taps that you assemble one at a time. You’ll spend less time working on equipment and more time keeping up your bar.
Consumers can be tricky. On one hand, they want you to keep your overhead low and pass the savings on to them. On the other, they want you to have the best of everything. Many entrepreneurs get trapped in the wrong half of this dichotomy, and it’s just one of many reasons businesses fail
Keep in mind that the latter always takes precedence. Even though established customers may loyally come to you even with low-end equipment, the life of your business is new customers. Making a positive first impression means showing potential customers that you do things in a professional manner. If you’re a CPA hoping to get someone’s business at tax time, they will not be impressed with a series of homemade spreadsheets and hand-written charts to make calculations. You’re unlikely to see them again after April 15th.
Safety and Security
Of course, one of the best reasons for using quality equipment is safety. Workplace accidents can lead to expensive workers’ compensation claims, excessive overtime expenses, and a loss of experience in production.
And that’s just for injured workers. If a malfunctioning piece of equipment injures a customer or client, the results could be the end of your business. Not only will you likely be tangled up in protracted legal action, you may also suffer such a severe blow to your image that other customers will avoid your business permanently.
Security is also important. We talk a lot about physical equipment, but things like computer equipment and software systems are also important. The loss of a customer’s data or a security breach will get you in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and it could lead your business to bankruptcy.
Business is competitive. There are ways to save money and help your business, while other techniques will save you money in a way that hurts your business. Learning to discern which way your strategies lean is critical to the health of your business.