Risk taking is a necessary part of business. If you can’t take a risk and still sleep, you really should not own a company, not to mention a pest control or termite company, that facing liability risks each and every day at every service visit and between services.
But what is not as often mentioned is the foolishness of some risks. Many years ago, before I bought my pest control company, I learned an important lesson which still holds true. My supervisor at Ernst and Young told me, “You have to spend money to make money.” It was true then and it’s still true today. Capitalizing a business is expensive but necessary for growth. Branding, marketing and advertising are required to bring in customers. Only small, local businesses with limited ambitions can survive on traditional “word of mouth.” You need to pay a decent, living wage if you want to keep your employees.
Now lets turn to the other side of the equation. In a world that has been turned upside down by negative economic surprises, one needs to ask, “What were you thinking when you made your last purchase?” What were you thinking when you signed that lease agreement with a hidden interest rate that was sky high? What were you thinking when you signed that long term print advertising campaign including a full page advertisement? What were you thinking when you hired that non-communicative, shoulder shrugging employee who crashed the truck, found excuses for not completing service visits and called in sick on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays?
No business can survive these days with a “What was I thinking?” list of errors in judgement. Nowadays, it is important to consider every decision with a sober mind, that is, with realistic monetary calculations of benefits vs. risks.
What were you last thinking?