Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Putting a Price on Value

July 12, 2006
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Smell that? The scent of economic slowdown is on the wind, and you know what that means. You can hardly pick up a magazine or turn on the television without someone trumpeting the latest ways to "Save When You Spend," "Cut Your Costs," and how to "Do Unto Others As They Do Unto You - For Less!"

The Fed's June meeting has come and gone, and in all likelihood (at least at press time) interest rates received another quarter-point bump in wary observation of rising inflation. Sink the great beast before it can do real damage, aye matey! But while the financial press writes articles of epic proportions on the subject, it tends to leave exploration of the trickle-down aftermath to others.

When things start getting tight and the cheap-money spigot begins twisting toward "OFF," people don't stop spending money. Even in a recession (shhh!) they do not stop brushing their teeth or washing their clothes. But they do start paying closer attention to what they're getting for their money.

Enter the concept of value. Too often, business owners assume the consumer sees the same value in a product or service the owners do. It is not simply financial: the value seeker will pass up paying $1 for a $1 issue, but will eagerly pay $1.50 for what she sees as a $2 value. It's knowing where that additional $1 resides in your business, and being sure the client can see it, that makes all the difference. There is no need to (shudder) drop your price; raise your value instead.

A good deal of space in ICS is devoted to content addressing business practices; understanding client needs; developing and enhancing communication skills; and getting that all-important repeat and referral business. The thing is, they're all pieces of the same pie. It's not just about how clean the carpet is, or how new the upholstery looks; you wouldn't be long for this industry - nor would you be spending time reading this magazine - if you didn't have the technical skills. What will give you the advantage over your competition is discovering where that heretofore unrecognized $1 is in your business, folding it into the mix and delivering the whole package to your clients without sweating the technique.

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