Thankfully, the question isn’t “what would we do FOR $100k” because that might lead to some revelations we’re not prepared to share with clients and friends.
Recently, Chase Bank began it’s fourth installment of “Mission Main Street Grants”, which offers $100,000 to 20 small businesses. The contest is in two parts. First, a small business must submit an application and receive 250 votes by June 19. Then, throughout the following months, a panel of judges consisting of company CEOs, business presidents and Nick Cannon will review the applications and select just 20 recipients for the Mission Main Street Grants.
Previous winners include bakeries in Ohio, healthcare facilities in Texas, retailers in Louisiana, educators in New York. A handful of manufacturers, like us, but none from Tennessee. Not a single Tennessee business has won the grant, yet. We intend to change all that (with your help. vote by clicking the link below).
So what would we do with $100,000?
First and foremost: a new automatic screen printing press. The benefits of a new press include printing more colors and printing higher volume. When we can print faster then we can print for less and when we print for less we offer greater opportunity for profit to our clients. It’s a win/win. Presses range in price from $5,000 to “call for pricing” – which means a poop ton, which is just slightly more than a freakin’ lot ton! Let’s average that price and say that we spend about a third of the grant on our new press totaling $35,000.
Second: we’d finish expanding our offices. The expansion would allow for more comfortable and quiet meeting areas for client consultation. It’d create a sales office for account managers. Separate offices for our designers to maximize focus and efficiency. And it would allow us to expand out production space to include a larger washout area for cleaning and storing screens. Total spending to get it done right, not just get it done: $10,000.
We’d also put a bit of money into marketing and advertising. We’d love to expand our reach more than just boosting posts on Facebook and the like. So, something should go towards marketing and advertising. Where are we on money spent thus far? $60,000? Let’s put about $7,500 into marketing and ads to start. We could build a budget for marketing spending with this and eventually grow our marketing department as well.
Like any business, we each have our own wish lists. Jose wants a new pressure washer. Jackie wants a new computer. Jesse wants all the things and so on and so forth. We’d probably put about $5,500 into fulfilling everyone’s little “wants” that will make their jobs easier or more comfortable.
Ideally, all of this new equipment and space will generate more income and revenue and we’ll be able to make some new hires and grow all of our departments. In celebration of our awesome, new, expanded offices, staff and equipment, we’d invite all of our clients and friends to the shop for a giant pizza party. I think to feed everyone, we’d have to spend about $500 on pizza (we really like pizza) and throw the delivery guy a hefty tip.
With a large portion of what’s left, we’d be fiscally responsible and clear some debt. As a small business, start-up doesn’t come free. Cost often means loans. Loans – as any college graduate can tell you – mean debt. We’d wipe a bit out with some of the grant. The remainder of the money, we’d save for a rainy day: repairs, raises, rent. Maybe one day, we’ll buy the building ourselves.
So, that’s our dream for $100,000. Realistically, we could spend the entire grant on a new press. We’d love to do that, but we realize our business has other needs to continue running efficiently. Also, we REALLY like pizza!