Posts Tagged ‘business’

Value of Time

June 1, 2010

Time.  It’s a precious commodity that is too often undervalued.  One example is when I hear people grumbling about some DIY home improvement project.  I’ll ask, why don’t you just hire someone to do it.  The answer is usually because it costs too much.  But, isn’t your time worth something?  It seems like being able to go do something with your family is priceless compared to cursing in your bathroom because a tile won’t lay straight.

As a new business owner, I value time more now then I ever have.  I find myself counting the number of man-hours to produce just about everything I buy and when the engineer in me starts running numbers, I realize there really isn’t a whole lot of profits for most small businesses.  It’s given me a whole new perspective on my purchases and a greater appreciation for the local businesses that I support.

Last week I decided to order up a yard greeting from Greetings by the Yard for a friend. What is a yard greeting you ask? It’s where some person goes out in the middle of the night and clutters someone’s yard with flamingos, cows, bears, etc… and then adds a personal message. It’s like the adult version of TPing a house but with good intentions and none of the work. I called them up for pricing and was told that it would be $170 for the out of area delivery.  Most people hear this and they’re flabbergasted at the price, and even more stunned that the person doesn’t get to keep a flamingo.

In reality, $170 is cheap for what you get. Now watch my engineering mind in action. A business has overhead. They are paying for business licenses, insurance, storage facilities, etc… Let’s assume 2 individuals on the job at $10/hr.  They drive 60 miles one way in the middle of the night which makes a drive time of about 2 hrs round trip.  Right there you have a cost of $60 for miles, and $20 for labor. Now, don’t forget, they have to come back the next day and pick it all up, so there’s another $80. Now that’s just accounting costs, but the value I get from the whole thing is:

  1. My friend gets an awesome and unique surprise
  2. I get the laugh of a lifetime
  3. Hours of fun with 50 flamingos, wine, and a camera
  4. I don’t have to lift a finger to make it happen

It was well worth every penny…

Do you value your time?

It’s All About Who You Know

April 30, 2010

Networking Business Cards

Cards, Cards, and More Cards

I’m cleaning up my desk, and I’ve neatly stacked all the business cards that I’ve collected since I started The Cookie Drop just a few short months ago.  The stack is 2 inches high.  108 cards, no repeats.

This is 108 unique individuals that I’ve personally shaken hands with and had at least a 3 second conversation with.  Don’t forget…  I used to be an engineer, so here I go with some fun facts for you!

  • 59 of the people I would recognize if I saw again
  • 53 created their own company
  • 15 are in the wedding industry, lets break it down for fun
    • 4 do flowers
    • 4 caterers
    • 1 cupcake girl
    • 1 photographer
    • 1 videographer
    • 3 miscelaneous
  • 10 are tech related, only 1 of which is a large corporation and 7 created their own company
  • 5 printers
  • 6 fitness related folks
  • 2 salons
  • 4 wineries
  • 2 in home non medical care
  • 7 are in the financial arena
  • 13 are selling MLM products

Phew.  That was a lot of cards to sort through.  Plus, I know I’ve lost some because there are people in my mind that I can’t find cards for.  That’s about 25 new people that I meet every month.  It’s amazing to think I used to spend my days behind the computer and interact with at most 5-7 people a day.  And then you see those same people every day.  Wow, that lacked excitement and variety!  Sure, some of these are just business connections, but there are some in here that I truly care about and that I would call my new found friends…

How many folks do you interact with in a day?  Would you prefer it to be more or less?

Make Everyday Earth Day

April 22, 2010

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The green movement has come a long ways, but we still have a long ways to go. What’s really cool though is that there are a lot of companies out there trying to make themselves just a little bit greener.

Here are just a few of my personal favorite companies/products that are riding the green train:

As for us, we do what we can.  We compost egg shells, butter wrappers, etc.  We use natural bakery boxes that can be recycled, liners, cello bags, and cotton ribbon which can all be composted.  And of course, the cookies should be eaten leaving no trace behind…  🙂

What green products/companies do you support?