At What Cost?Written by Dave Balch
Do you like to save money? Duh... Of course you do! When you own your own business, you really appreciate value of a dollar and want to squeeze everything you can out of each and every one. Right? RIGHT! But at what cost?
I remember shopping for a laser printer about 10 years ago. Living in a rural area, mail order is way to go for me and I combed ads in back of PC Magazine. Many of them didn't even show a price; it just said "Call" and I did. When I got price I wrote it down, then discovered that terms varied. Considerations such as shipping costs, credit card surcharges, sales tax if purchased within California, etc. all affected my bottom line cost, and whenever I discovered a new consideration, I had to re-dial companies I already spoke to in order to get their policy on matter. I figure I spent at least 10 hours doing research. I also figure that I saved about $50. Pretty good, huh? NOPE! I probably could have made a heckava lot more than that had I invested those 10 hours in my business!
I'm not saying that it is a waste of time to shop for a good price. Far from it. But there is a line, however, that you should be careful not to cross because that's when you enter never-never land of diminishing returns. In first hour, I could have determined that price of my printer wouldn't vary by much. At that point I should have just made a decision, ordered it, and moved on. I would have saved 9 hours of my time and probably only spent $20 or $25 more than I did. What I'm saying is that you have to remember to consider your time as part of price.
Take Control of Your Visual AidsWritten by Ron Sathoff
When I was teaching public speaking, I always told my students that they had to be careful because visual aids tended to be "mischievous."
By this, I meant that visual aids have a tendency to go wrong exactly at worst time. If you aren't extremely careful, they will detract from your presentation, rather than enhance it.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't use visual aids. It just means that you should be careful when using them. Make sure that you know what might happen, and do everything you can to avoid problems.
For instance, I can't count number of times students or clients have tried to use a VCR, only to find out that machine didn't work, or that tape was cued to wrong place. Believe me, worst time to find this out is when you are giving speech.