Is it Time to Upgrade?

When you began your adventure making bath and body products or candles and melts, you probably purchased basic, essential equipment. Perhaps you purchased secondhand, borrowed from the kitchen or improvised. Packaging was handmade, purchased locally or whatever suited the need and appealed to your senses. It was all well and good and time spent was not a factor.

Then, you decided to sell those lovely creations and everything changed. Efficiency and bulk production is now vital to keep up with demand, make a profit and still have a life outside the business.

Is it time for an upgrade?

Success involves many factors, but let’s talk equipment—equipment that helps streamline processes and make bigger batches. What you need is dependent of course, on where you are in business, but upgrading equipment as the business grows is important. Even so, a number of businesses fail to upgrade when it is time. I see businesses selling hundreds of bars per month for example, using single bar cutters, or filling lotion bottles with plastic bags or making candles with double boilers holding one pound of wax at a time.

Why is that?

Perhaps it is the fear of investing in equipment that does not measure up to expectations. Perhaps it is a stubborn streak that is unwilling to adopt something new. It may be a lack of funding or simply an aversion to spending money.

Regardless, it is vital to the business and you as a person to periodically evaluate processes and decide what purchase will benefit in time savings. If you have more time, you can secure more business, service accounts better or even spend more time with family and friends.

The equipment that will help depends on your particular business, but one example I can share is my experience with shrinkwrapping. I began shrinkwrapping soap with a slow, clunky setup that wrapped one bar at a time. It was terribly inefficient. I noticed others using the National Shrinkwrap system, and was intrigued by how quick and versatile the system was; but it was too expensive for my tiny business, I reasoned. The cost for the machine was higher than any one item I had purchased to date. I eventually realized however, that my process was costing a great deal of time and this system would eventually make money by saving time, so I purchased it.

National Shrinkwrap System

That purchase was one of the best I made for my business at the time. The speed at which I could shrinkwrap saved hours, which allowed me to produce more and use my time in other parts of the business. It was worth every penny.

For you, it might begin with a stick blender, a Presto pot or a single bar soap cutter. Later on, a paint mixer could substitute for the stick blender, a giant melter takes the place of a Presto pot and a multi-bar or hydraulic cutter takes the place of the single bar cutter.

At whatever point you find yourself, consider what the lack of equipment costs in time. In business, time is indeed, money, and wasting it means loss of income. Be judicious in spending, but do not put off purchases that will in the long run bring profit.