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Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Being Cheap is not Cheap"

Working for various companies, I've seen a lot of different business and accounting styles. I often wonder if being completely and utterly stingy with every penny really makes a big difference...

Seeing both sides of the fences, I do believe that yes it can be quite effective in watching every penny. But I think in hindsight, the reality of the situation is that being so dramatic as to be called frugal, stingy, what really comes through is being called cheap. Cheapness is never a good thing, in any product, service, or business.

Perhaps the German's have it right, uncompromising quality. Everything from tanks, gliders, submarines, guns, to drafting equipment to the BMW. Its all done with precision and care, that comes with a price tag. Thus they are world renown for their quality and craftsmanship. In comparison, it sure must be great to mass produce lower quality goods, but in the end, your consumer will eventually be left wanting. Regardless of how affordable and cut-rate your services are.

If you're cheap, word does get around. Even worse if your employees get wind of it or witness it. Perhaps it can be said that "Cheapness is not cheap." (Now the new title of this entry.) The effect can be devastating on morale and hinder performance.

In relating this recent lesson to today's worldly economic status. I do recognize that financially the situation is not exactly positive but it is certainly not bleak. It is also certainly not just cause to conduct business as I have seen. Cheapness is not a one time incident. I believe it is a way of living, your choice of actions and decisions, and quite frankly and literally cheapens the overall interaction with clients.

But how do we define cheap? In reality it depends on the situation, but more over it depends on our own standards. What standards do I have for Simplicity? Certainly not cheap ones.

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