I’m not talking about shoddy-cheap, obviously shoddy is never good, but affordable-cheap. For a small business can cut prices be a good thing, sustainably, for anyone concerned? From the point of view of a service provider just how long can you earn a sensible living doing “cheap”?
Following on from my previous post about avoiding the bootstrapping clients, I wanted to explore a bit further, but from the client/customer point of view. Because we are all customers as well as suppliers.
We enjoy a bargain but I do think it sensible to stop and consider just how much of a bargain it really is. Will it last? Is it done by an expert with plenty of experience or by someone wanting to make a fast buck who just happens to know the patter and jargon? And why would an expert be cheap?
On the other side, we’ve most of us been there. Bills landing left, right and centre and the chance to make a dent or two by doing a quick job for someone. But that way lies nothing good.
Back to the customer… Taking advantage of an expert with some fast offers is all very well but just don’t expect that same quality for price in future. It can be an introductory special offer but know that cut-pricing just cannot be sustained for a business to flourish or even remain in business.
So how to not be cheap? Well for my business being organised helps. The only problem with that is finding/making the time to stay organised, in between all the projects, both sensibly priced and cheap. My prices, therefore, have to include for someone to keep things organised. It had to be a case of stop everything and take the plunge. Just do it. Charge sensibly. Charge according to experience of both me and those I need working with me. And have the courage to say no to those quick fixes that end up with you working for less than the minimum wage. Another important thing is to be as clear as possible about what a client can expect for their payment, and then be really firm about meeting that expectation but anything beyond is chargeable.
As a customer, what is your experience of “cheap”? And as a business owner, do you manage to maintain a lower-priced service or leave that to the newbies, perhaps?