August '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 6 7 INVESTMENT DECISIONS HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE READY TO PURCHASE NEWER, BIGGER EQUIPMENT? T H E R I S I N G T I D E O F B U S I N E S S | A A R O N M O N T G O M E R Y A s we get deeper into 2021, business is starting to come back for many folks, and I keep hearing people say they are busier than they expected. The world is trying hard to get back to "nor- mal," which means people are going back to school, hosting in-person events if they can do so safely, and spending money. This is a great problem to have for those experi- encing it, but it is a challenge nonetheless. One of the potential answers to this issue is investing in new systems and equipment. In this column, I explore that process and discuss how to know when to invest, what to invest in, and how to best prepare for the future. BIG DECISIONS Many decorators are looking at the back- log of work and thinking it might be time to invest in new equipment that's faster or larger, add more equipment, or possibly invest in new software or systems that can increase efficiency. The excitement of that thought gets us moving, but quickly our anxiety about spending money sets in. It becomes a back-and-forth battle between the two. What to do? First, make your decision from an invest- ment standpoint, not a cost standpoint. What that means is that you need to re- view the purchase from the possible return on investment, not from how much it will cost. For example, if I said, "You give me $1 million, and I guarantee that in three years you will make $3 million," would you do it? If it is guaranteed in writing, I believe most of us would figure out some way to make that happen. The challenge is the per- son ensuring the return is you and your business, not some random writer. We all have money set points that are unconscious beliefs that make us stop in- vesting in the tools and systems needed for growth. An example: Many people, through social and community pressures, believe that anything over $1,000 is ex- pensive and must have a much greater perceived value to get us to "spend that kind of money." Because of this, many new businesses end up purchasing a 15" X 15" heat press as their first purchase, as most are priced right under $1,000. The manufacturers have that size and price point available for a reason. But I have met very few businesses who didn't wish they had invested in the 16" X 20" heat press or larger. The 16" X 20" typically costs $1,500 to $2,000 and re- quires you to "spend that kind of money." To get over this money set point, research a purchase based on the return on invest- ment, not the amount it costs. You must re- move the actual end cost of the equipment from your purchase decision. Instead, look at what that purchase could yield over time. Using that 16" X 20" press, do you have the potential to sell flags, socks, or all-over shirts? If so, then is the amount of profit from those items equal to or greater than the $500 price difference between the two presses over a certain amount of time? If your answer is a yes again, an investment mindset leads you to figure out a way to borrow, finance, or just spend the extra $500. If you have a cost mindset, you will only see the difference in cost, which means you will fall into the category of the person wishing they had made a different invest- ment. THE RIGHT MINDSET Now that your mindset is viewing the investment in the correct light for your business, look at the next area that can get people. It is what I call the "shiny object" syndrome. Early in my decorators' com- A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N Many decorators are looking at the backlog of work and thinking it might be time to in- vest in new equipment that's faster or larger. (Image cour- tesy Kern Laser Systems)

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