First there was price…

Anyone responsible for spending on behalf of an organisation, be it your own business or not, needs to make sure that the spending only happens for good reason. As the economists will tell you, money is a “scarce resource”. Nobody has an unlimited budget. But the price of something needs to be seen in terms of its value as well.

We know that a very large budget opens up a lot of doors and possibilities. We know that a very small budget makes things very difficult. At the smaller end of the scale, where most small businesses and non-profits operate, there is (or at least, should be!) a healthy focus on managing limited funds tightly. So when it comes to spending those limited funds, there are two ways to go – look at the price, or look at the value.

Up until a couple of years ago, Winch Websites was definitely a “price” centred business – the dollar amount was key. Essentially, the philosophy boiled down to whether the expenditure was mandatory eg. a phone service, internet, domain name renewals or whether the expenditure was optional eg. advertising, training, graphic design tools. In all cases, the cheapest deal was likely to be the best deal so long as the bare essentials came with it.

…along came value

But then the business took a turn to a different direction. Not left or right, but up. Purchases were made on the basis of “value”. Here, the price is no longer relevant (really!). What matters is what that spend will bring back. A few examples;

  • For the internet service, the cheapest price would suggest taking a residential plan with a monthly download allowance as close as possible to average usage. However, the best value would be a business-grade service from someone like Aussie Broadband that is more reliable, has much faster (and more caring) support when required, and offers more dedicated resources (not as many people sharing the total internet ‘pipe’). Business-grade internet costs more but delivers a level of service you can rely on more – kind of critical for a website marketing services business, for one!!
    What’s the value? Time, reliability.
  • For creating, submitting and managing proposals, the cheapest price is to create a document eg. with Word, save to PDF, and email to the client. However, the best value is to subscribe to an online proposal service such as Proposify where you can create proposal templates and even a library of proposal sections that you can quickly pull in to build a great-looking, professional proposal in minutes, send to the client, sign electronically, and even monitor when the proposal is being read (plus where the potential client spends most time reading it). A proposal service cost more but lift your professionalism to the same level as firms with teams dedicated to this activity, make it easy to keep tabs on where you’re at with them all. If you ever submit proposals, answer this – how many proposals would you need to succeed to pay for a year of proposals service?
    What’s the value? Time, professionalism, responsiveness, increased sales.
  • For learning how to improve sales, the cheapest price is to read and watch a lot of content on the internet. Blogs, Youtube etc. The best value is to sign up for training specifically aimed at your industry. You save buckets of time not having to find content, work out if they know what they’re talking about, pulling out the relevant gems of advice that apply to you, putting them all together. You get a structured process to follow, often with access to other learners plus the expert(s) so you can discuss your own reality. You get a cohesive set of strategies, tools, and/or processes that you can quickly adapt to your own situation and business-personality. Again, the question to ask is – how many sales would it take to cover the cost of the course?
    What’s the value? Increased sales, confidence.

A difference in perspective

So as hopefully you can see, viewing potential expenditure through the lens of “value” leads to a different perspective. Relating this to websites, it is easy to simply see the quoted price and not see past it to the value. “A website that you’ve described will require an investment of around $4,000” often leads to sticker-shock for a new or young business (or small business moving up in the world) – yet if that same business was to open a real brick-and-mortar shop, $4,000 would be a small fraction of the required budget. Once more, the question to ask in response to the amount is “What will that get me?“. If you are happy with the answer, then you’re getting good value.

If you’d like to chat about your own website, and what would be good value for you, please get in touch.

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