It’s okay not to renew…

I’ve recently had to wrestle with decisions to continue/discontinue certain business relationships/services and whether or not to go through a voluntary recertification process related to the day job.  I’m sharing my thought processes here in case others are going through a similar situation.

When you are a micro-business, every dollar counts.  I know what it costs me to be in business every year and at what point I actually start earning money.  Last year, I made a calculated decision to start buying wholesale.  I researched vendors and chose one with whom to do business. The experience was positive, but I am researching other vendors who may be better able to meet my needs with product assortments, fill rates, shipping costs and order minimums.  (Sometimes Joann with a sale and discount coupon is the better deal and no shipping costs involved!  Just sayin’!)

With regard to the day job, it’s hard to believe that a decade ago I was in the final stages of earning my specialist degree and completing my National Board Certified Teacher credentials. I have never once regretted the tremendous effort and financial sacrifice that went into earning my NBCT credential.  However,  after much reflection, I have chosen not to go through the renewal process.

Why?  Because it doesn’t make fiscal sense for me to renew!

  1. My state legislators didn’t live up to their end of the deal when they chose to withhold the 10% salary annual bonus that was promised to those to achieved NBCT. They kept changing the rules and even though I finally work in one of the lowest performing schools in the district, they still won’t pay the bonus.  This has cost me the equivalent of one year of salary over the past 10 years.
  2. The renewal costs $1,250 and means another portfolio of work.  Nope.
  3. One of the big educational vendors is now in charge of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. To me, it detracts from the hard work put forth by a lot of professionals and has turned the process into yet another profit center for the multibillion dollar a year education industry. 

    This is strictly a business decision.   The ROI simply isn’t there for me.  That money and time will be better spent elsewhere or set aside for retirement.

I use this same strategy in my craft business.  I am willing to try new things, but if there is no continued benefit from a certain association membership, banking relationship, insurance provider, or wholesale provider, I look for alternatives that can meet my needs/help my business grow.  I think we worry too much about hurting someone’s feelings.  No, it’s business.  For example, a friend has done my monogramming and machine embroidery work for years.  She does a fabulous job at a reasonable price.  Once I changed schools, I had to find a local shop to handle my time-sensitive work, because she now lives an hour a day.

Are you willing to let certain relationships/services go that no longer meet your needs? Please share.