For those of you who, like me, used to work for someone else, you know what it’s like to beg for updated software, hardware, printer ink, and design-specific supplies. At the thought of turning freelance, my heart went pitter-patter at the thought of finally having the tools and resources I wanted.
So when I finally had enough money to make one of those coveted purchases, my heart seized when this thought crossed my mind – “Is it worth it?”
When you can afford it, SHOULD you?
How “worth it” are larger monitors?
Are Pantone color books really going to be that useful?
Will a new portfolio case land you that new client?
That new purchase may seem awesome now, but will you regret spending that money in the next slim month?
No doubt about it, measuring “worth it” is hard. How can you gauge what will have the best ROI (return on investment)?
The Simple Principle
It works for EVERY purchase, from a toothbrush to a new computer to expensive shoes to pricey font packages.
I call it the “$3 per use principle.”
Simply ask yourself this question when making any purchase, “Will this purchase cost me $3 or less per use (or per hour, if that makes more sense)?”
If you can honestly answer “yes,” then it’s a good purchase.
Example 1: You want to buy new monitors for a total of $300. Will you use them more than 100 hours (at 5 hours per day, 20 days)? Most likely you’ll be using them for thousands of hours – they’re a great purchase.
Example 2: You want a $2700 wide-format printer. Are you going to print 900 jobs from it? For me, not a great purchase…but maybe for you, it’s a steal.
The “$3 per use principle” has one catch…and I already told you. Did you miss it? Reread the title again (I’ll wait. *hums softly*) That’s right, I said profit. Not income; profit. Those monitors or that printer may very well be a great purchase, but not if you can’t pay the utility bills!
Do you have a purchasing principle when it comes to your business?
How do you determine if your next purchase is “worth it?” Leave a comment on this post and let me know!