So what is that reasonable alternative?
For every business it varies but the concept remains consistent – get back to the basics. Kindness did not go out of style just because it’s the new millennium. Same as courtesy. It’s still as valid today as it was in any point of history. Getting back to the basics of respect for the customer is where that reasonable alternative begins to take shape.
Budget forecasts and cost evaluations can be done with the purpose of saving money and generating new revenues – or they can be done with the purpose of respecting our customers and the value of their time. Automation has its place – build something once then sell it again and again. That’s attractive as a revenue model, and it certainly has its merits, but it needs to be only part of the process and not the entirety. When it complements the primary objective of serving the interests of the consumer then it becomes the reasonable alternative.
An example in our own experience would be website development. A typical starter website costs on average $4,600.00 the first year and $1,400.00 each subsequent year. That buys up to ten pages, design, hosting, domain name, and some modest marketing. The website owner assumes the role of project manager to oversee each aspect of their website, ensuring completion and payment, and additionally be directly involved in maintenance, edits, content additions. Their costs include direct expense, and lost income for time spent away from their own business.
As a service station metaphor, it’s self serve. Drive up, fill your own tank, check your own oil, clean your own windows, pay the service clerk, leave, return again when needed, repeat.
Now, suppose that “starter website” was closer to $3,500.00 the first year and $1,000.00 each subsequent year? And in addition, again using the service station metaphor, it involves driving up, making important calls, making ledger notes, and scheduling appointments – all while gas is added, fluids are checked, windows are cleaned… that’s an approximate 25% direct savings plus no lost time from your own business.
That is achievable through a combination of automation and service delivery that is intended to serve the needs of and respect the consumer. To repeat – it is achievable.
UserTutor Corporation is directly involved in such an endeavour with the NoSiteUnseen Network project and its latest phase of evolution. We partner with our Associates to deliver programming, design, content, technical support – that’s our service community. And that community in turn partners with each client, committed to their success by providing them the needed full service that helps free up their time. That’s our community of communities.
Return to the basics – provide full service. Make that reasonable alternative a business goal. Instead of trying to cram 48 hours into 24, focus on making 24 hours sufficient.
To repeat yet once more – it is achievable.