Choose your vendors

20 Jan

Being president of You, Inc. also means you get to choose your vendors. Life is good when you have vendors you can trust. Life is awful when you don’t.

For example, I want to discuss my car. I drive a 2000 Honda Civic and take it to a local Honda dealership for service. They know my car’s make and model. They also have a 10-plus-year history on my specific car. They know what service was performed last year, the year before, and the year before that. They know when the timing chain was installed, when the front bushings were replaced, and when the seat belt tension was adjusted. I recently took my car there for a squeaky noise and a 175,000-mile scheduled maintenance. I do not know what is on the 175,000-mile scheduled maintenance checklist…I don’t have to.

You may be saying, “Mark, the dealer is expensive. Can you take your car somewhere else?” Yes, I probably could. I could probably find someone cheaper, but I probably won’t find someone with more competence than the dealer’s mechanics. I may be paying more than necessary for routine maintenance. That’s OK. My car is not a laboratory for cheap mechanics. I don’t want to think about a cheap mechanic or his or her insufficient knowledge when I’m driving through a thunderstorm at midnight. That’s why I go to the dealer. They have the expertise and have earned my loyalty. I don’t have to think about them.

This may be a bitter pill. I am asking you to think like a business owner. I’m asking you to ask yourself how every dollar you spend will help your business. I’m asking you to leave town for training, conferences, and seminars only when the benefit outweighs the cost. I’m asking you to choose reputable vendors even if they’re not the cheapest you can find.


Mark Anthony Germanos is the author of two books, Escape the Cubicle: How to leave your corporate or government job for something better and How to Make Computer Systems Work for You. He has faith in a slow but sure Sacramento business revival. Sacramento small business owners are leading the way. His second book, Escape the Cubicle, is for those who want to escape cubicle jobs and become successfully self-employed. Escape the Cubicle answers the questions: "How can I grow my business" and "How do I become my own boss."

Mark is the President of Cameron Park Computer Services. As a business owner and computer networking consultant, he has seen habits that successful Sacramento small business owners embrace. He helps Sacramento small business owners embrace those habits to increase their profits, efficiency and happiness. An advocate of Sacramento business revival, Mark believes everybody should run their lives like a small business, perform SWOT Analyses and use social media campaigns to improve business. He used to say “social media is stupid.” That was until he attended a conference and saw how Sacramento small business owners can use social media campaigns as a valuable tool. Since then, he has earned more than $40,000 in business via social media. His Sacramento small business clients also have five-figure returns. Sacramento small business owners that launch social media campaigns give themselves a comparative advantage over those who lag behind. Mark does not do everything, but his clients do receive great results and participate in the Sacramento business revival when they follow his advice.

Mark moved from Chicago and restarted his business in California with a cell phone and a Honda Civic. An active triathlete, he has a life, a dream wife and a dog. For additional details, visit Twitter: Facebook: LinkedIn:


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