Imagine this scenario: Your roof is caving in. It is riddled with leaks that - with each rain - slowly seep through the weathered, cracking shingles and rot away the plywood beneath. In time, the plywood yields to the weakness it suffers through continual water exposure, allowing the leaks to attack the structural integrity of the support beams and joists holding everything up. With every passing season, the problem gets worse and worse - exacerbated by each new rain, each new drought, each new ice storm. The pending financial burden increases, as does the risk to the rest of the house and its contents.
Tar patch is applied; spare shingles - like so many Bandaids - are tacked into place here and there; in one section, perhaps a tarp is affixed. Quick, inexpensive, short-term measures are taken - ostensibly as a reactionary tactic. The real solution is one that you don't want to face: a roof replacement. Had the problem been addressed a couple of years ago, it might have only meant re-shingling. But now - since so much water damage has occured - the plywood needs replacing, and possible attention to the joists beneath. The new costs? Significantly higher. Wait another year or two, and the ceiling wallboard will need replacing. Keep waiting, and the wallboard will eventually fall down.
So why not do the repairs? "Too expensive," you say. "Don't have that kind of money; it's not in the budget. It's cheaper to keep patching for now, and I'll deal with the problem tomorrow." Well, tomorrow comes, and more damage is done. The looming grand total for the cost of ultimate repair grows higher, and higher, and higher. And like a seemingly irreparable budget deficit or impossibly high credit card balance, "a little more damage" won't make a bit of difference in the big picture.
Until the roof finally caves in. Then you kick into panic mode. You'll gladly spend whatever it takes to fix things... and now.
Does this scenario sound all too familiar? At our company, we've seen many projects come in as a result of similar "panic situations" from clients. We need to fix their proverbial damaged roofs, and they are panicking. They are not always rational. They are in survival mode. And they are scrambling - too - to justify the cost of repair.
One of our missions is to try and pre-empt panic situations; to educate and create true value in addressing a potentially bad situation before it escalates. We try and show that a short-term expense to attack a business problem today can yield substantive rewards tomorrow.
Why wait? Be proactive - not reactive. The ultimate cost of ignorance can far exceed the cost of prevention.