When my husband became disabled due to an amputation in 2012, we had to make adjustments to the layout of our bathroom and have a can of hallway touch-up paint at the ready. Our front bathroom has a yellow porcelain tub circa 1968 with a matching sink. No matter what weird shampoos our daughter is currently using for bluing, purpling, etc., we can clean it up and remove all traces. Our friend offered to help us redo our shower in the master bath. The existing one was a plastic or vinyl shower. It had been an earlier remodel, replacing the original porcelain shower. Time was tight; money was tighter during that time, so we opted to go easy, quick, and cheap and get the vinyl ADA shower to insert and add ADA bars. It looked good and functioned as we needed it. It wasn’t until we began cleaning it that we realized how much more upkeep it would be compared with the porcelain version. Creating and spreading an OxiClean paste is a weekly thing because I like it clean.

It reminds me of when companies skimp on investing in doing things right the first time or redoing it from previous lesser solutions. How much time do you want to spend scrubbing each week? Your time is valuable. Your team’s time is valuable. How long will it take them to learn the workarounds for a lesser solution? This includes buying mics, laptops, monitors, keyboards, and mice. At our other company, Funnel Media Group, we have found that when editing podcasts, we are spending another $30-$50 on a gaming mouse with programmable buttons. This saves our editors hours each week. We are super picky on ums and ahs, and repeat words. The better Logitech mice make editing a breeze. We made back that additional investment quickly.

If you are looking for gifts for your staff, invest in making their job easier. Get them the noise-canceling headphones, the gaming mouse, and the floor heater/fan combo from Vornado. Buy it once. You can still include the cookie tins if you want, but if you buy a cute ornament AND functional tools, they will appreciate that you wanted to make it easier for them to do their job. Oh, and a reminder, those are GIFT. If they leave, they still get to keep the mouse.

When selecting your SaaS partners, spend more time having responsive support, great training libraries, and regular improvements. Talk to people who use the solutions to ask if it is worth the added cost. You may think you don’t have the money now to invest in the better solution, but it will cost you later, and you’ll be making OxiClean paste weekly to solve the corners you cut upfront.