Fuel for Thought
Caveat Emptor (the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made) - commonly known as Buyer Beware does not only apply to the seller, but also the goods sold. As a small business owner, keeping costs down is key to holding on to the revenue you work so hard to attain.
We have to buy products and services to keep our business running at the level we need. When deciding to buy anything, especially business related, finding the best product or service for the right price is crucial to your bottom line.
In today’s market there are many choices of where to buy, who to buy from and the levels of quality for the products can vary tremendously. Whether buying something new or used, Caveat Emptor applies to both.
New products, be it a truck, tires, fluids, software, electronics, clothing or even food, can come in varying degrees of quality and price. While price is important to your bottom line in the short term, always consider the quality and/or durability of the goods for the long term. Repeatedly buying the same low quality goods for your business could actually cost you more than a more expensive higher quality product that only needs to be purchased once. This is true in many cases. A cheap used truck can be a money pit for repairs, while a new or newer more expensive truck will cost more initially, it could save you money in the long run. A new/newer more reliable truck can not only save on your repair bills, but also save precious downtime. Time lost can never be regained. If you are considering a cheap used truck and you are not a mechanic, take it to one you trust to check it out BEFORE you buy it. Caveat Emptor.
The same is true for the foods we eat on the road. Healthier foods generally cost more than unhealthy foods, but spending a little extra today to get better meals, can save you thousands later on medical bills.
Services are no different than products. Caveat Emptor. All services are not equal. A cheap repair shop may have great mechanics who do not know their worth or they may just be taking shortcuts and performing “shadetree” type work for the lesser costs. Conversely, just because a shop charges more does not mean they are any better, they could just be more expensive. Get references, most drivers are willing to help other drivers especially in recommending repair shops.
Other products necessary for your business are not nearly as costly as trucks or repairs can be, but combined, even the smaller expenses can add up to a sizable portion of your costs. There are so many options available today that if you are doing same thing you did even 5 years ago, you may want to consider looking at other options. Loyal customers are great, and being a loyal customer does have it’s perks with many other businesses you may routinely deal with, but shopping around can sometimes open your eyes to other choices that you may not have considered. Just because “that is how we have always done it”, doesn’t mean it is still in your business’s best interest today.
See you down the road,