5 Questions to Ask Before Splurging (And a Bonus Decision-Making Tool)

You will reach a point in your entrepreneurial journey where you’re forced to make a decision. You will find yourself face to face with some type of new product, system, app, or service. It will be bright and shiny and beautiful. And it will be expensive.

As much as you want this new shiny thing, you have to count the cost and decide whether it’s worth it. Choices like this are tough, and they definitely deserve a better process than the one you used to name your cat.  I was in this position not too long ago, and I’m going to share a few questions I asked before making what turned out to be a great decision.

The Problem

Less than one year ago, Numberyard was a one man band. I was my own secretary, my own IT guy, my own salesperson and my own web developer. I did everything from sales taxes to staple removal, and I was doing it all from a converted apartment above my in-laws’ chiropractic office. I was loving the work, but the work was piling up. I was nearing max capacity. Low-priority tasks kept getting pushed farther and farther down my list.

The Realization

I came to the point where I knew I needed help, but my office wasn’t suitable for employees. One option was to spend a lot of time and money renovating my zero-rent workspace. Another was to pony up and move out. I looked at much nicer offices with much higher price tags. I spent hours poring over pro/con lists and agonizing over the decision. Eventually, I pulled the trigger and moved Numberyard to Kingston, which meant more space, increased visibility, and better access to the business hubs in our area. Saying that our move was “worth it” would be an understatement, but how could I have known that beforehand? Other than making sure we had the cash flow (which we can help with, btw), it came down to a few key points:

  1. What will the shiny thing accomplish?

    I knew that a new office would benefit our business. We’d be able to better serve our existing clients and be more accessible to new ones. There would be room to expand if and when we needed, and we wouldn’t be spending a ton of time and money to renovate a sub-par location. What opportunities would your investment open up for you?

  2. What will happen if I don’t get the shiny thing?

    If I didn’t move, I wouldn’t have needed to pay rent, but I wouldn’t have been able to grow. Staying put meant standing still, and that wasn’t something I was ready to do. Will turning down your purchase hold you back or harm your business in some other way?

  3. Who else uses this shiny thing?

    Once I knew that we needed to move, it came time to select a location. There were other offices I could have moved to, but the building we chose was full of very modern and forward-thinking businesses who we respected and would love to emulate. What other companies use the product you’re looking at? Are they companies you can relate to?

  4. What do others have to say about the decision?

    Like I said, I was a one-man band. I didn’t have a team, boss or board to be accountable to. I still ran the idea past people I wanted input from, including my husband, parents, and business-owning in-laws. Getting another set of eyes brings in perspectives you might miss.

  5. What does your gut say?

    As is the case with so many decisions, what it comes down to in the end is how the decision makes you feel. If you’ve gotten the info, done the research, and asked for opinions, you have everything you need. Making the leap from $0 rent was a scary one, but I knew in my gut that it was what I needed.

I’ve moved to high-rent locations. I’ve hired employees at rates 50% higher than what people told me to pay. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on coaching, training, and mentors. I’ve paid for apps and services that nobody else in my industry has even considered using. And I’ve made every decision with confidence.

What decisions are you on the brink of? What does your gut say?

P.S. – Need a little help? I’ve got a pre-made pro/con list that breaks down all the main points you’ll need to consider before making a big decision.

get the list
Your Thoughts?