I was recently working on a woodworking project that I like to do for fun in my spare time. (Yes shocking, as it may seem, I do find that from time to time.) I realized that I needed some replacement blades and staples to complete this project.
I headed off to our nearest hardware store knowing the sizes I needed, but after arriving I come to find out those sizes weren’t typical sizes.
The sales person tried their best to help me find a fit. He asked what brand they were and I couldn’t recall I just knew it was not any that I seen there on the shelves. It was then we realized the issue was that I had purchased the tools from a discount store and that was the only place I could get the needed replacement parts.
On the drive to the OTHER side of town I got to thinking a little bit, did I really save anything in the long run if I have go out of my way to get refill or replacement parts? And how long will those discount tools be available to get those needed refills?
I think we run into the same thing with our businesses. We try to “save” by getting free tools or cheaper alternatives, only to find that it limited us in some way. Maybe not in what the application or service does, but maybe because we have to go out of our way due to a lack of documentation or support to figure out how to best use the tool.
This also made me think about how well did I know my tools, things like the specifications, what size it will take, ways to best utilize them, will they work for all of the applications I need to use them and do I even know all of the ways it could be used.
Maybe if I knew that I could actually use it for more than what I really bought it for and in the long run, that in fact is my savings, by not needing another tool.
Again, this applies to our businesses. Are you utilizing your website, email service etc in all of the ways you possibly can? Maybe with a little research and/or training, you could greatly enhance what they do AND increase your business revenue.
In rethinking the situation I now know in the future I will be hesitant about buying discounted products unless I know they are compatible with what I’m doing or needing. I will also look at other ways I might be able to utilize that tool to possibly increase my return on investment.
I hope that maybe you too will consider these things when purchasing tools for your business. Also consider looking into ways to educate yourself about the tools you may already have.