Don't Cheap Out on your Business

Last month I went home to Winnipeg for three weeks, and during those weeks I took a mini road trip to Chicago with a friend. I had a busy and expensive summer already, but I wanted to squeeze in one last little trip. Both my friend were saving our pennies since we tend to splurge a bit more often then we should, but hey, that’s what we do!

So in the spirit of saving money, we decided to cheap out on our hotel and booked us some no name accommodations. Our hotel was about $80/night, while I’m used to paying upwards of $150 for a good hotel. The reviews weren’t great, the hotel was located on the outskirts of the city, but we thought we’d go ahead and take our chances.

Needless to say, the hotel was disgusting! The bathtub was rusty and unclean, the fridge had some orange sludge at the bottom of it, the carpets were dirty, and the pull out couch looked like it had a number of unidentified stains on the mattress. Yuck!

We knew the hotel as about half an hour away from the city, but again, we thought it would be worth the commute if we were saving money on the hotel. WRONG! Most of the places we went to were in downtown Chicago. And do you know how much it can cost to park in downtown Chicago? $45 for three hours!!! That’s not everywhere downtown of course, but it seemed to be that way for the places we went to.

If we had just decided to spend the extra money on a quality hotel downtown, we would have had comfortable sleeps, delicious continental breakfasts, and we could’ve left my car parked at the hotel while we walked or bussed to where we wanted to go!  Yes, we wanted to save money, but in the long run we spent even more money to cover the cost of gas to and from the city, and for all the ridiculous parking rates we had to pay.

You’re probably asking yourself, “How does Charmaine’s crappy hotel stay relate to me and my business”? Well, I’ll tell ya!

Whether you’ve been in business for three years or you’re just starting out, entrepreneurs are scared to make investments. We start out thinking we can do it all ourselves without spending any money, and that’s just not the case. Even if you are highly skilled in all aspects of running a business, you don’t have time to do it all.

My friend and I got a cheap hotel because we “didn’t have the money” for a nice one. But that just wasn’t the case. If we truly didn’t have money, we wouldn’t have gone on the trip at all. The money was there, we were too afraid to spend it, and it affected our trip.

Are you in the same boat with your business? Is the money there but you’re too afraid to invest in a web designer, a social media manager, or an accountant? Are you “waiting for more clients” before you spend money on Facebook ads or on a business coach? Don’t you think getting more clients will be easier if you had those things?

I’m not saying you have to rush out and hire 10 new people to help you run your business, and that you have to pay everyone top dollar. All I’m saying is to be smart when you’re standing between making a decision that will profit you in the end, versus a decision that’s actually going to end up costing you, no matter how much money you think you’re saving.