Whenever you choose something for free, you’re often choosing over something else or delaying a decision

It’s called the opportunity cost and we’ll explain that in detail later

But free can still cost and it can cost your business in a big way

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIORITISING AND FOCUS
When starting out in business costs are high and income is low or non-existent, that word FREE is massively appealing. It sucks you in and draws you in and you’re patting yourself on the back before you know it’s worked

It’s important to prioritise a list of what is essential – the things on which your business depends on and cannot be sacrificed. Those things that free or cheap options would be massively harmful to your business

And then separate them from what is merely a want or a nice thing to have

When I speak to businesses about what they see as important – the same 3 areas come up

  1. Marketing – Attracting New Customers
  2. Training – Keeping Ahead Of Industry Changes and Adapting
  3. Service – Providing the Best Levels Of Customer Service

However when I ask where they’re focusing their business spend it’s often on none of the above 3 areas

There are huge numbers of small businesses that have spent more on a desk than they have on marketing, training or customers service

If you focus your attention on the wrong things then success simply won’t happen
5 KEY POINTS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN GOING FOR THE FREE OPTION

Free Is Not A Bargain If It Doesn't Work
FREE IS NOT A BARGAIN IF IT DOESN’T WORK
If I offered you a Mobile Phone that didn’t work – would you consider it a great bargain? No, of course not!!

Well, small businesses often do exactly that when starting out

  • The free websites that you see advertised on TV that aren’t fit for purpose
  • The free business cards that are so flimsy they put off potential customers
  • The free business directories that don’t drive traffic or business, because none of the businesses are verified

In business there’s a thing called the opportunity cost i.e the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen

  • When you choose a free website that doesn’t work – you turn down a website that costs, but actually works
  • When you choose business cards that are of poor quality – you turn down the business cards that create that right 1st impression and win customers
  • When you sign up for a free business directory – you often feel the need not to do the marketing activities that work

Social Media offers a great opportunity for small businesses to grow their business. And it’s free.

But Social Media will not work if you have zero marketing experience and don’t know how to build an effective social media strategy

Think about what is working in your business

Free Sample Vs The Whole Shebang
FREE IS OFTEN A SAMPLE RATHER THAN A FULL PRODUCT
When you walk around your local market you often get often free samples of their latest foodie treats

You know that the sample is a ploy to get you to buy the whole cake – and it’s true you’ll only actually be satisfied with the full cake

If you take this over to business – is your business going hungry for what it wants and needs?

We deliver free Social Media talks at local networking groups on a monthly basis and there’s massive value given every time. You could walk away from one of our talks, be inspired and add some serious £££s to your bottom line if you acted on everything we said

But ultimately a 20-30 minutes talk on Social Media is a very small sample of what we deliver in a half day or full days training for a company

And going back to that cake analogy – having 10 samples of cakes never leaves you as satisfied as a full one. 10 free seminars on a subject rarely leaves you as nourished as one full one for your own company

Generic Vs Specialised
FREE CAN BE GENERIC
Free can often be generic designed to give an overview on a subject to a mass audience

It can be applied to anything – our blogs, thousands of business advice websites out there, the free one hour consultations that businesses give, the government scheme business surgeries

When we deliver a talk at Business Networking Groups the content has to appeal to a wide audience – beginners to experienced, a variety of industries, the tech savvy to the luddites – every single person in the room has to be made to feel wanted and take something away.

When we deliver a 121 training session it goes in-depth to your needs, your wants, your objectives, your business. It’s specialised rather than generic. It’s much more effective because of it’s laser focused

Generic is a nice starter. It’s not the main course!

Free Still Costs Time
FREE HAS A TIME COST
Everything has a time cost – remember to do a time audit of how you spend your average day / week

Keep it simple

  1. Make a list of the all things you spend time on (networking / social media / updating the website etc)
  2. Put a tick next to the ones that are effective for you
  3. Put a cross next to the ones that aren’t effective for you

All the tasks with a cross next to be

  1. Stopped
  2. Improved via training / education
  3. Outsourced to a professional

You will never get this day back again – so spend your time wisely and realise that progress sometimes costs

A successful business never regrets spending time and money on things that work – but they regret wasting time on things that held them back

WANT TO CHAT ABOUT MARKETING THAT WORKS?
If you want to chat to us about an effective marketing plan for your new business

Click for Full Details of our Social Media Training and Social Media Management Services

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

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