Thursday, August 19, 2010

Penny-wise but Pound Foolish: Why This Always Costs Small Businesses More

Also long as I have the bully pulpit, let me share what I have observed and learned about small business owners spending over the years, and I include myself in that. We all tend to be penny-wise, but pound foolish and it always ends up costing us more in the long run.

A case in point: The small business website and e-storefront business phenomenon. When the ability to do affordable web presence and e-commerce first came out about ten years ago, it was a lucrative business for a communications consultant like myself with a marketing communications and an adult learning background to be in. 

For a fair price, I could consult with a client, learn about their needs and requirements and then do it all for them. I would design their web presence and e-catalog, shoot and process all product photography and put folks entire catalog online in record time. These implementations were gorgeous, and online shoppers conveniently used them.  I would also do a thorough job of training these small business clients of mine, training them about what managing a web presence and e-storefront is all about. If they listened and learned, they did well.

Some of my clients would even call me back in to address and solve additional challenges they had, like upgrading and integrating their back-end accounting system or helping them re-think their point-of-sale approach by integrating it with online ordering and with that upgraded accounting back-end. 

Life was sweet... until the marketplace continued to develop and every small business son, daughter, relative, or employee ...jumped into the game, all claiming... without any marketing communications experience and without any adult learning background... that they could do what I could do....for less.

Over the years, I watched the consequences of that before my very eyes: Once small business owners with less than capable in house people tried to develop and manage their own web presence, the results were horrible, especially when websites were done by "techies" with no aesthetic skills...and with no communications or business development skills.  The results have been abortive and a lot of time and money has been wasted. And wow has this "penny-wise, but pound foolishness" cost small business folks dearly in terms of their brand identity and in terms of relationships with their customers. 

This experience really has changed me, not only bottom-line wise, but also learning-wise... teaching me where the real opportunity was... in developing the consciousness and business decision-making ability of small business entrepreneurs themselves... just so they can appreciate the value of what I uniquely provide.  Yes, the road has ended up being a bit longer, with some detours along the way... but now the trip is a lot sweeter.

Call me if you are in the process of re-thinking your business presence and building your brand in a more strategic way, I  can help you avoid many pitfalls that others have fallen into..making life sweeter for you too. 1.425.780.6872

No comments:

Post a Comment