In April, I got a shiny new object. A Ford Fusion Titanium.
It’s black and it’s sleek. It’s low to the ground with a front spoiler less
than 5” from the pavement (I measured it). My shiny new object replaced my
Honda CRV with 160,000 miles on it. My old, reliable CRV had a few small dings
in her and some scratches from hard use. She was all wheel drive (AWD) and had
a high ground clearance for the few times during the year when that was needed (a
camping trip or a snow storm). But as time went on, more and more items needed
to be fixed or replaced as the miles began to pile up. The choice was spending
more and more on unpredictable maintenance as new issues needed to be fixed or
going with my shiny new object. The shiny new object won.
This past weekend we got eight inches of snow and I had my
first driving experience with my Ford Fusion. Boy did I miss my CRV. That sleek
front spoiler that hugged the ground at highway speeds became a snow plow as I
navigated my neighborhood streets. My
front wheel drive Fusion with traction control was no match for the AWD of the
CRV. Did I make a mistake with my shiny new object?
After much contemplation, the answer is no. I made a
business decision based on factors such as a better MPG and repair free driving
(knock on wood) for many years to come. For the five times a year that I need
AWD, it’s not worth the unpredictable costs. My monthly payment at an extremely
low interest rate is a better use of my budget dollars than having to fork over
a large sum of money for a single repair. And it’s a fun ride the 360 days a
year AWD is not needed.
So what does this have to do with business? You need to make
these same types of decisions in your business as well. Do I repair that old
piece of equipment again and again or make the upgrade to a more efficient
piece of equipment that does it better and faster? Do I buy that new truck that has better gas
mileage and can handle a bigger payload? It can be hard to let go of that old
reliable machine that you have worked with for many years. But you need to set
emotions aside and look at the overall goals of the business. And at times, you need to buy that shiny new
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