If you want to buy a fire truck, you have to navigate 8 financial questionsOver the next few weeks, we'll look at each of these questions in more depth to help you answer them and avoid making mistakes around one of the largest financial decisions you'll ever make.
Question #1 - When should we buy the truck?Or to re-phrase, should we buy the truck now?
This question has a functional component to it - the truck needs major repairs, it's unsafe, or we can get parts, etc.
But our focus is on the financial aspect of this question.
And financially, this question boils down to:
In other words, can we absorb this purchase now and set ourselves up to get the next truck (or other major project like a fire station or paid staff) later?
How does this purchase impact our current budget & plans and how does it fit into our future financial strategy?
This is a key question. Maybe THE key question.
It either sets you on a path toward a safely equipped department adequately funded or on a path toward older, unsafe trucks being used way past their safe life.
SummaryThis is the key question to ask. Many departments simply wait and address this question on the functional merits - our old truck can't get parts, for example.
Rather, this question should be asked as part of the big financial picture of your department to ensure success.
John R. Hill