Or the Right Way?

I used to be that person who wanted everything that was shiny and I wanted it yesterday. I love tech. I love organization tools. I love intriguing, unique decorating items. I love cameras. I love books. I love having everything set up the right way, right away. Until I started my own business centre and then I realized that sometimes going slowly and building up to the shiny way, is the right way.

What brings this topic up you might ask? Well I was networking recently and as one is wont to do, one gives out business cards. When people in certain industries see I own a business centre, their eyes get kind of shiny. Like they’ve hit the mother load for office equipment or some other product I might “need”. And sometimes I will but not without carefully considering it first. Why? Because going in to debt for a piece of equipment that is going to depreciate the moment it gets shipped to my door is not a wise move. I know I can factor in depreciation value in to my budget and tax right off’s but why not wait?

It wasn’t until I was 20 minutes in to a sales call with someone that I voiced, probably for the first time to a sales rep, my overall business plan. I plan to grow slowly and according to demand. Yup. As much as I like the shininess of right now, I love the plan to build a solid foundation with the least amount of debt necessary.

So here’s the plan:

  • I will grow according to what my client’s need and not what I anticipate someone might need at some point.
  • I will implement services and products that will have multiple uses and be available to generate revenue for myself and my clients.
  • I will make sure that what I buy is what I can afford within the limits of my current budget and if I can’t afford it yet, well, it will wait.
  • I will be creative in solving problems and make sure to frame any creative solutions as just that. After all, my other business is all about being creative 🙂

It’s interesting to note that during this conversation with the sales rep he commented several times that this was the wisest plan he’d heard in a while. That too many businesses figure if they have the shiny stuff, people will come. Thanks to a very valued mentor, I know that it’s more important to have the people and then make the shiny happen. And after having watched more than one business try  the shiny first, people second plan and fail, I’ve been scared straight from the allure of shiny.

So this week, according to needs must, I will be installing a screen system in my training room that will be able to move from wall to wall and accommodate various training set ups. It won’t be shiny but: it will work, be creative, be budget friendly and be a stop on the road towards a shiny new A/V system that will come as the people need it. Now this might sound like the advice of a bootstrapping entrepreneur speaking out the wrong side of her bootstrap but the BDC agrees so I think my bootstraps just might know of what they speak.

Next time you feel the urge to splash out for the newest, shiniest and have it all the right way, right away, remember this: if you don’t get the people first, no amount of writing off unnecessary expenses will help you dig your business out of a very large hole. Even if your shovel is nice and shiny.

shiney shovel

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