In our current situation many companies are cackling about how much money they have saving on services and are doing their fair share to keep pushing prices down. On the surface this savings looks good to many companies, but as soon as the economy turns around these services are going to go back to the increased costs they deserve and then what? Well in my years I have observed one thing that still holds true no matter what situation your business is in, you get what you pay for. I know that there are a million things that we can do ourselves and as small businesses we often look to cut costs that way. If you can master these things that’s great, but before you become a business DIYer consider these things:
Do you have to learn it?
I would love to design my own website and not receive an invoice every time I have a change. So as I embarked on redesigning my site, I considered the option of things I could do myself. As the owner of the business it is expected that you focus on the bottom line and you look to cut unnecessary costs, but what you don’t want to cut is the quality of the service. All of those savings quickly evaporate, if what you produce looks like a DIY attempt or you have to call in a professional to fix your attempt. Sometimes it is more cost effective and prudent to call in a professional.
Don’t support Subpar Small Businesses
As a small business owner myself I know that we like to use one another whenever we can, that kinship is what makes being a small business a great experience. While this is one of the greatest practices ever, it can get you in to trouble when you lower your expectations simply because you are giving a small business a chance. My first choice in a web designer was a small business woman clearly out of her depth. My website was butchered and I now have to pony up another steep fee to have a professional correct her mess. Being small does not mean being incapable and downgrading your expectations is a clue that this business is not your ideal small business vendor.
Create Realistic Budgets
I see this all the time with improvement and change management projects, companies want drastic change for a small price. The result, I guarantee is going to fit that price tag. Anything done with quality, experience and a guarantee to come back and fix it until you like it is not going to be cheap. As an owner it makes sense to get multiple bids and create a pricing estimate based on realistic numbers, what doesn’t make sense it to want a $10k job for $2k. If all things are created equal and the price is the one thing that is different, then use price as your decider. If the difference is in quality then put price aside and look at how much the cheaper version will cost you when you think about maintenance, repair charges, lost billable time and staff frustration.
A lot of times running a business means wearing every single hat, but sometimes to lead means to decide that you aren’t the best person for the job. That’s investing in your company’s success and building a culture where quality is valued and preferred.