Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Buy new, buy used

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     As a business owner, you know how to save money. You know how to buy used equipment instead of shelling out the big bucks for new. 

     In the health care field, massage therapists, Pilates instructors, chiropractors and others save a lot by buying used equipment. The same can be said for restaurant and baking equipment, store shelving and refrigeration, printing equipment, auto repair, office equipment and fixtures, and countless other examples.

     Any business owner thinking of expanding should consider buying used--not new--equipment and vehicles. Used office equipment and computing equipment can serve just as well as new. You can find this stuff at steep discounts by searching out used items in good condition at trustworthy sources. 

     Example: Zack owned a small printing shop. His industry was undergoing big time technological changes, and Zack installed a high speed quick-print machine to satisfy some of his customers needs. But Zack wanted to remain small and specialized--he was not looking to compete with all the runaway technology that many printers were installing. Instead, he went looking for older presses. He found an old German-made press that he bought for pennies on the dollar--just over the scrap value of the iron it was made of. Today, Zack can turn out high quality, color work on his older machine and still satisfy customers requiring quick turnaround copies.

     Example: Mike spotted a new strip mall being built near a new big complex of retirement homes. He made arrangements to rent one of the new storefronts in the strip mall. Then he went looking to establish his dream bagel shop. A franchise would cost him $250,000. If he passed on the franchise and bought new equipment, Mike could get into business at half the cost. But he found an antique bagel making machine at a used restaurant equipment supply house that he could buy for $10,000. Mike jumped at the chance. He cleaned up the old machine, put it back in operating condition, and installed it in the front window of his new bagel store. It was like a museum--continuously operating machinery dropped bagels at the end of the line every few seconds. Mike got lots of free publicity, not only in local papers and on social media, but a national magazine wrote about his bagel operation as well.

     Before you disparage used, think about used vehicles and homes. And then there used transplants--hearts, livers, corneas, kidneys.

     Before you spend on new, consider the savings possible with used. Now, re-work your business plan and see how the numbers add up.    


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