In the days before automobiles, a traveler along a remote and dusty trail in the desert Southwest came upon a deep well with a hand pump under the cover of an open shed. Near the pump handle was a bucket of water with a ladle in it. It was a hot day and the water looked mighty good. There was no one around – only a hand-painted sign that read “you are welcome to the water but prime the pump before using it and leave a full bucket for the next person to come along.” The traveler didn’t know if the pump would work or if the well was dry. There was water in the bucket and he could drink it without risking its loss to prime the pump. What should the traveler do?
This is the same kind of dilemma we face in today’s economy. Do we hold on to what we’ve got or do we risk it in the hope of a greater return? To conserve what is in hand is a natural reaction in the face of limited resources and an uncertain future. But it’s easy to imagine what would happen if the traveler doesn’t trust the well and prime the pump. The same is true in business. You have to spend money to make money. The business process stops when businesses stop spending.
As a student, I learned that an economy isn’t determined by the amount of printed money in circulation. It’s the velocity of money – how often it changes hands in commerce that is the real measure of an economy. Forgive the political implications, but giving you my money to spend doesn’t help the economy, it only redistributes the wealth. All I’ve done is given you my bucket of water. It doesn’t prime the pump. No, to accelerate the economy, I need to spend my money with you – not give it to you. I take what I buy from you and use it to make more money. I prime the pump.
And so it goes. Buying and selling. That’s how we’ll save the economy – by spending money.
There’s just one problem with this idyllic scenario for salvation. What was the deciding factor for the traveler? It was his trust in the pump. It’s going to take trust in business relationships to overcome the fear of financial loss to get commerce moving again.
We’re your business partner. We want to earn your trust with the knowledge that our products, along with the training and consulting services to use them, will return you equal or better value for the money you spend with us. That value becomes part of the goods and services your business offers to your customers. And you, in turn, will earn their trust and they will spend their money with you. Each of us will prime our pump and leave the bucket full for the next customers who will come along.
Here’s hoping “Happy Trails” for all of us soon.