Return on Investment: Price Without Quality is Never a Bargain.

Decisions Decisions. Spending money is never easy. Especially when it comes to small business spending. Making investments in things like equipment, new hires, and real estate are always tough choices. Am I spending too much? Is it the right equipment? Will the price be better next week? Small business owners are always up against these tough decisions.

Some advice. Have a simple plan on making the decision before starting. Just like a business plan, have a plan on making a purchase. Things to consider:

  1. Have a budget.  If you cannot afford the product or service it will do you no good in the long run.  Be wary of up-sells and other things that will increase the advertised or quoted price.
  2. Return on Investment.  What will this product or service do for my business.  Will it help create more profit?
  3. Cheap is Cheap.  Don’t always go for the lowest price.  Remember, price without quality is never a bargain.
  4. Service.  Am I on my own or will I get service with my purchase?  Who and where is my customer service?  Calling India and  long waits on the phone or being charged for service is never a good thing.  Paying a little extra for good local service is always worth a little extra in the price.
  5. Quality of Product.  Many products and services claim to be the best, get a good referral from an actual user.
  6. Have a Time Frame.  Many business owners know they need a product but are wary of pulling the trigger for fear of making a mistake.  Once a decision has been made to purchase give yourself a specific date on making the purchase.  Most business owners who have a plan and fail to act always regret acting sooner once the purchase is made.

It is never easy making large business purchases.  Mistakes will be made, but with proper planing mistakes are less likely to happen.



Purchasing New Technology: When to pull the trigger

Technology moves so fast today that making a technology purchase for your business or for personal use can be horribly mind boggling.

“When I purchase will I find what I just bought obsolete?” “Will the price drop?” It seems today either the next greatest is thing is coming out next week or the price is dropping by 20%.

Gone are the days of technology changing every few years. Today it is down to months or even weeks.

“The next iPhone is due out in 3 months do I wait?” “Next week a new Android phone is coming out, is that a better choice?” “What do I do?”

Here are some tips on how to evaluate when to purchase the next new technology.

1. First determine if the technology is actually right for you. Is this something that is going to be just a toy or will it be something that will enhance your life or business?
2. Is there a return on investment? Does it do everything that I want it to do now or are there predicted improvements down the road that you really want.
3. Next step is to do your research: Consumer Reports, friends, co-workers and reviews on the internet are all good sources.
4. Once you have evaluated your needs set yourself a price limit. If it is within your budget go for it. If not wait, as the newer technology comes out the price of what you really want will drop.
5. If the need and the price are right for you, pull the trigger and buy. Don’t look back or re-evaluate your purchase. Enjoy it because it is right for you. Do not get caught up in the have to have the latest and greatest just because everyone else has it.

As a personal example my iPhone 3 works fine for me, it gives me what I want and I have no interest in moving to the 5. When I purchased the 3 I made the decision because I wanted internet access to my phone for business purposes. It was the best purchase I ever made and I got it cheap because the 4 had just been released.
I find so many people wait on making decisions because they are not sure. Do your due diligence and if it is right for you now, don’t wait. Just make the decision and go on with your life. You will be glad you did.

Beware of the Yellow Light: Cities and Towns Reducing Times to Increase Revenues

Below is a reprint from an article by Mike Magner for the National Journal at on November 11, 2012.

I would highly recommend sharing this article with your staff, family and friends.  

“The National Motorists Association has a warning for the millions of drivers hitting the road for the busy holiday travel season: Beware of the yellow lights.

The timing of yellow lights on traffic signals at many intersections is purposely set to a minimum so more drivers can be ticketed for running red lights, says the 30-year-old activist group based in Waunakee, Wis.
Read more

Drowsy Driving: A Risk for Everyone

The following is an article I found on Automotive Fleet Magazine Oct 2012…  Driving drowsy is an issue we all face from time to time but is not talked about enough.  I recommend everyone speak to their children and drivers about this serious issue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 100,000 people are killed or injured each year in crashes attributed to a driver asleep at the wheel or driving while severely drowsy. As it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness, this number may be even higher. Company drivers who must often drive more than the average person are at increased risk of crashes due to drowsiness.

A common characteristic of sleep-related crashes is the likelihood of them occurring at night or in mid-afternoon, when people have a natural propensity to be asleep, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). In addition, sleep-related crashes are more likely to involve a single vehicle running off the road. These crashes are more likely to result in serious injuries. Typically, there is no indication of braking or attempts to avoid the crash.

Sleep Deprivation Dangers

Americans are often reminded about the seriousness of drunk or distracted driving. Many do not know that tired drivers are just as dangerous. A 2008 AAA survey found that two out of every five drivers (41 percent) admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point.

Researchers found that extreme sleep deprivation can impair brain function as much as a 0.10 blood-alcohol level, equivalent to drunk driving. Fatigue impairs reaction time and attention, and it slows down the ability to process information in much the same manner as alcohol.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the human body often compensates for lack of sleep by taking “micro-sleeps.” These tiny naps last only a few seconds, but can have deadly results. A car traveling 55 mph can cross more than the length of a football field during a four-second nap.

Everyone is at Risk

Sleep is a natural function of the human body, and lack of sufficient sleep the night before or an accumulation of sleep debt can lead to serious consequences on the road. Fatigue affects reaction time, attention, and information processing — all critical aspects of safe driving.

Everyone is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Certain characteristics or events greatly increase that risk, including age (younger drivers tend to be more susceptible to fall-asleep crashes), disrupted sleep patterns, untreated or unrecognized sleep disorders, sedating medications, and driving patterns and the number of miles/hours traveled per day.

It’s commonly believed that commercial truck drivers are the most at-risk group for falling asleep behind the wheel, but statistics show that all drivers should be concerned.

In a 2010 AAA study, tired drivers were responsible for one in six fatal crashes, or one in eight crashes that sent someone to the hospital.

A “Sleep in America” poll conducted in 2009 by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of adults had driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the prior year, while 1 percent admitted they had an accident or near-accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.

Warning Signs of Sleepiness

One of the most dangerous aspects of fall-asleep crashes is that many drivers don’t even realize they are drowsy. It is important to recognize the warning signs. A driver feeling tired should stop to rest or take a coffee break if their eyes begin to close or go out of focus, their head begins to bob, the desire to yawn becomes excessive, and/or thinking begins to wander or become disconnected, etc.

Some common ways to prevent drowsy driving include getting plenty of good, quality sleep; avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.; take a break every two hours; and, if possible, drive with someone else who is awake in the passenger seat.

If signs of fatigue begin to show, drive to a well-lit area to take a short nap.

Kids are Back in School: Drive Safe!

As we turn the page from summer to fall it is time again to be aware that the kids are now back in school.  I would like to remind everyone, from individuals to fleet managers, the importance of being aware of your surroundings and paying extra special attention in the morning and afternoon when the school buses are picking up and dropping off.

For fleet managers I would strongly recommend that you speak with your drivers about the importance of being careful driving around our neighborhoods.   As we normally drive 10 mph over the speed limit on the highways doing this on local streets could mean the difference between life and death.  In addition to being the right thing to do, driving slow in neighborhoods has the added effect of making your company seem more responsible.  The effect is better customer perception of your company.  Better perception = more sales!

It is also a good time to remind drivers the dangers of using cell phones while driving.  Many times I have observed drivers on the phone go right by the stopped bus with warning  lights flashing: no clue to what they just did.

Let’s keep our kids safe by driving slower, dropping the phone and paying more attention to our surroundings.  Parents and kids will really appreciate it.

July 4 Deadliest Day for Teens and Americans on the Road

As the busy summer driving season is now underway I thought the article below is a great reminder to speak with your young drivers about driving safely.  Whether you are responsible for a teenage driver or a fleet of 100 drivers, talking about safe driving should always be on the top of your list.

At Boston Global Tracking we believe in safety 1st.  That is why our GPS tracking devices are the most accurate and reliable on the market.  Having a GPS tracker installed has shown to change driving behavior, making drivers accountable for their driving.  A safe driver results in fewer accidents and helps to keep your insurance costs down.  Have a great 4th of July and safe summer!


July 4 Deadliest Day for Teens and Americans on the Road

Summer is supposed to be a time of celebration for teens and their families with prom, graduation and college on the horizon. Unfortunately, new analysis of crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that July 4 is the deadliest day for teens on the road and is just as deadly for the motorists that will be driving alongside them.

Nationally, car crashes are the number one cause of death for everyone ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group.

Based on the latest available data, IIHS reports that more than 800 people were killed on July 4 from 2006-2010. And if the projections remain true this year, an average of 140 people will lose their lives on July 4 due to car crashes. California alone lost 241 people during the month of July, 2010, due to fatal car crashes. July trends as one of deadliest months on the road for all drivers.

Teens accounted for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. fatalities that occur on July 4 and are particularly susceptible to fatal distracted driving incidents. Research from The Allstate Foundation found that 49 percent report that texting is their biggest distraction behind the wheel.

“These tragedies are compounded by the fact that many crashes are preventable,” says Phil Telgenhoff, field vice president of Allstate in California. “Driver error, speeding and distractions are the main causes of crashes, and seemingly simple activities such as switching radio stations or interacting with friends can significantly impair a teen’s or adult’s ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions.”

“Staying focused on the road, wearing seat belts and following the speed limit and other road rules are simple steps we can all take this July 4 to make sure that we return home safely,” he recommends.

Currently, legislation that would encourage the states to enact optimal teen driving laws, or Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, is being considered by Congress as a part of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill. GDL policies have been shown to reduce traffic fatalities by as much as 40 percent in the states where they have been adopted. Additionally, recent research from The Allstate Foundation’s License to save report found that comprehensive GDL laws could save an estimated 2,000 lives and $13.6 billion annually.

Source: Allstate Insurance Company


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