The True Cost of Errands

Over the years, I’ve heard this in various forms from a few customers:

“We love your service, but we stopped buying “X” from you because I can get it at (insert big box store name) for less.”

Though we pride ourselves on maintaining the most competitive pricing in the industry, it’s still tough for most companies to compete with the big box boys on certain allied product pricing. They have the buying power to turn out a lot of small business lights. Taking the price difference at face value is one thing, but I always caution our customers to take a deeper look into pricing discrepancies before running out to the super store. How much do your errands cost?

The most important and yet most underrated cost component is quantifying how much your time is worth. Let’s say the average coffee shop owner runs errands three times a week and spends an average of two hours purchasing supplies each trip. That amounts to 6 hours per week – a whopping 300 hours per year! Much of that time is spent behind the wheel, using expensive gasoline and adding wear and tear to a vehicle. Imagine if you could spend four (or more) of those weekly hours networking at local businesses, handing out coupons at apartment complexes, giving out samples at festivals, etc. Now you’re actively working to grow the top line instead of focusing on the bottom. A business can only cut so much, but top line growth is limitless! So I ask, How valuable is your time?

Secondly, when you head out across town for supplies you are out of the shop, meaning someone else must be paid to be there for you. Even if you decide to leave during a slower time and don’t bring in additional help, you could be setting yourself up for a disaster. Let’s say you get an unexpected rush while you’re out running errands; how many potential new regulars could be turned off by a long wait thanks to an understaffed bar? While it’s impossible to calculate this totally, the thought alone is a little scary. It could be pointed out that time away to market the business could also lead to these issues, but when you run errands you only cost yourself money but while you’re out marketing, you’re investing in potential sales growth.

Customers who order from Stockton Graham & Co. know we offer options for free freight so you can spend more time growing your top line. Call a customer care associate at (800) 835-5943 today and begin to truly value your time.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.