Value Vs. Price and Buying Local in Hawaii

I had two interesting conversations within minutes of each other last week—one with a client and one with another small business owner in Kona who was not a client.
I was helping the person (who was not a client) re-hang a banner that had fallen down. I noticed that it was of very poor quality, both in terms of printing and materials. In fact, the reason it had fallen down was that it was not hemmed and only had plastic tabs in the corners, which had ripped.
I asked the person where he got the banner, and he quickly answered:  “I got it online. I am a small business owner, and I need to save money.” I asked him what he paid for the banner including shipping and the cost of her time to set up and design the banner. He looked perplexed and said, “I paid $75, including shipping. My time was free.”
A few things came to mind immediately:

  1. How can he expect people to buy locally at his store if he is unwilling to do so himself? After all, what he sells can be bought online, and, I would suspect, that his products can be bought more cheaply online. He wants others to do what he is unwilling to do.
  2. His time is not free! If he spent an hour with the design and order process, that’s an hour he could not spend doing something else. Is his time worth $30, $50 or $100 an hour?
  3. If he had talked to us about his banner needs, we would have come very close to what he paid online. Kona Impact also would have had it done in one business day, and if it didn’t turn out right, he could have resolved the issue quickly.

About 30 minutes later, a client stopped by to pick up some things, and, as we do when time allows, we spent a few minutes “talking story”. This business owner is very successful, has probably 100 employees and lives a very comfortable life.
She never asks about price; instead she is very focused on getting the projects done quickly and to a high degree of quality. She is very focused on moving forward and growing her businesses, and she knows what she knows and knows what she doesn’t know. She is great at delegating.
The guy is clearly a price shopper; he only looks at the price tag and makes his decisions (however erroneously) based on cost. Value, personal connections, community and his own time are far less important to him. For certain, there are many people who approach business the same way.
Cheap Work Aint
The woman is a value shopper. She understands that price is part of the equation, but time, quality, durability, community, personal relationships and developing reliable suppliers are also important.
The woman, I’m certain, is a very wealthy; the man, I’m certain, is not.
If you’re purely a price shopper, give us a call, because you might be surprised.
If you’re a value shopper, definitely give us a call, as we’ve based our business on providing value to our clients. Whether it is same or next day service or sharing our local knowledge and connections, we strive to provide our clients with superior products and services.

Kona Impact | 74-5599 Luhia Street | 329-06077