Perceived Value- What Do You See As Valuable?
So we had Black Friday and the retail sector went crazy as people spent money on what they felt were perceived value deals. This was followed shortly by Cyber Monday when shoppers who missed out on, or avoided the manic retail frenzy and crush, went online to spend their money. I sent my subcribers a gift – not a deal – just a thank you for being my subscriber. Yes, I had deals I could have offered but I prefer to let people know about these at the time they are available – not create some sort of false urgency, just because an enterprising retailer came up with a commercial idea.
Thinking about this I considered what is value, really? Is it value for money or is it more subtle than that? As entrepreneurs we are often faced with choices about where to spend our money. As parents approaching Christmas that choice becomes tinged with emotion about giving our children a “good” Christmas. Argos released their predictions for best selling Christmas toys back in June of this year- hmmm..that feels like creating bestsellers in advance. Apparently this year – children as young as three years old will be clamouring for a Code-a-Pillar – that’s an electronic caterpillar you can program to move a certain way. (Shhhh don’t tell my six year old son!) and Bring Back Big-Track I say!
Perceived Value Is Feeling Good About Your Return on Investment
When we spend money on something for our business it cannot be simply because it is fun or makes us feel good, or can it? Our heads tell us we should be getting a return on our investment but sometimes marketing can sway our hearts. That feeling doesn’t last when the shiny new object fails to deliver on it’s promise.
I suggest there is a formula you can follow when making business investment decisions:
Value = Choosing between Time &/or Money + Measurable Return of That Investment.
How does that translate? Let me give you some examples.
Perceived Value of FREE Goods and Services
There is a place for free stuff – it makes you feel as if you’re getting something for nothing and depending on its quality that can be a plus or minus point. The plus is – a good value report for example, informs and helps you think about next steps. A poor value piece of free stuff is just more clutter and overwhelm in your already busy head – but at least it didn’t cost you anything!
The biggest drawback of free stuff is your lack of value perception about it and this results in lack of action. It cost you nothing – so it costs you nothing to leave it cluttering up your inbox (creating yet more overwhelm), unread/unactioned on your hard drive or bookshelf or in the corner of your office. There is little incentive to action the information given freely. My suggestion – skim read the information – if it seems valuable take a few notes then archive it, but note where it came from. If someone gives you good value for free then imagine the level of value if you go to them for PAID information or help.
Low Cost Goods and Services- Perceived Value
I have a friend who happily spends money on “cheap” clothes from Primark for, as she puts it, fun occasions. She doesn’t expect the clothes to last long but spends more and buys her suits from Marks & Spencer and Debenhams – investing in better quality clothing for longer term wear. She is clear on this perceived value. When you buy low cost items/services don’t expect a high value or impact in return. Frankly I despair when I hear entrepreneurs complaining that a £47 E book on Facebook Advertising doesn’t immediately make their Facebook ads perform like rock stars. I would expect something like that to give me the approach to using Facebook as a promotion tool, but would and do consult an expert for a more detailed and actionable strategy for my advertising.
In summary, a low-cost item will move you up the ladder of knowledge but is unlikely to transform you into implementation.
Mid-Level Solutions – Paying More to Get a Specific Return.
Once you start paying three figures for goods and services there is usually (but not always), a perceptible shift in your return on investment. If you pay £100 for something, you’re usually (but not always) going to use it! The perceived value is directly related to the investment, now it truly is a waste not to do something with your purchase. But frequently people still do just that – they stay stuck and don’t take the action, wasting their hard-earned cash on therefore worthless purchases.
This no longer surprises me, why should it? It’s exactly what I used to do before I hired myself an actual coach and it’s what I still see people in my network and my clients do before they work with me. The main reason is because you don’t normally get the one-on-one handholding or accountability at this level. This is where the time and money part of the equation hits home.
Remember, Value = Time &/or Money + Measurable Return.
Mid-level Programs CAN work!
It can take longer to achieve your goals, but it will cost less each month to do so. However, it may mean you reach success slower and you must wait longer to see profit coming in, but if you’re a committed self-starter who is ready to get an accountability partner to support and push you, you’ve found your solution!
If you’re committed to investing the time in learning how to implement the strategies taught to you in mid-level programs, then this can be a viable solution for you. Some things you will still need to get help with, especially the things that take much of your time and aren’t in your ‘Zone of Genius’; tech or FB Ads for example. If you’re prepared to do this, then a solution like my Enlightened Entrepreneur Academy would be a great option for you. It’s unique because it’s a Mid-level program in which you DO get the one-to-one aspect within our group calls as well as the accountability and support that is essential for success.
High Level and Higher Priced Solutions- Perceived Value And Return On Investment
At the other end of the scale are the high-level coaching programs. Personally, I invest a lot of money every month in a coach to help keep me and my business moving forward. This takes up a lot more of my time and money than other solutions, but has also become an integral part of working ‘ON’ not just ‘IN’ my business. I value my coach’s experience and expertise, her skills and the high level of success she herself has reached, plus she keeps me accountable. She pushes me to implement, to take action and that, to me, is a very high perceived value indeed, almost priceless.
There is an immediate conflict for most entrepreneurs when they first consider paying more for services and getting help. The first thought expressed is almost always – “I can’t afford this” but that is rarely what is actually going on.
As you read the following lines, feel your body and how it changes. It will be telling you what resonates and what is true for you:
When I dig deeper I discover that you don’t value yourself enough to spend this money on your business. You don’t think you’re are worth it, you don’t think your business is worth it. Fear of failure rears its ugly head; after all if you invest thousands of pounds and then your business still fails, that hurts. Fear of Success also comes up – “How will I cope if it does grow? What will people think of me?“
As a way of keeping you small, safely inside your comfort zone and stopping you from taking the next step up. You’ll think you can do it yourself, especially if you’ve been inspired on a webinar or phone call and have been shown a pathway and belief in you and your business… “If I just work harder and focus more….” Not true. Working hard is important but working SMART is even more so. The issue is that you cannot always see the wood for the trees. The major benefit of working with someone else is that they are objective about your business. When I work with my clients, I can see the errors and disconnects without emotion but with sensitive pragmatism. My objective is to help you to succeed and that is a powerful motivation.
You cannot be the expert at everything, you need to operate in your ‘Zone of Genius.’ However, there are aspects of business that need to be done for you to be successful. If you cannot do them, employ someone to do them for you. If you are stuck – then get some coaching to get you unstuck. Remember, we get out what we put in and that is just as true of money as of any other resource. Every business needs investment to thrive and as CEO of your business you need to invest in yourself too.
Fear of failure costs money, your money. It is time wasted in feelings of overwhelm that could be spent on moving your business forward. Fear of success holds you back- playing small when you could be going big. Smart, strategic, successful business owners and entrepreneurs know that knowledge without action is clutter – so get into action. The next time you are tempted to buy just one more E book on Facebook, lead generation or SEO stop and think – how much time will you truly spend on reading it and implementing it? Get clear on your strategy and invest where you will save most time and get best results.
In my opinion free stuff can be good to inform but rarely helps you to implement. Low level is very similar. Mid-level CAN be very effective if you COMMIT and stay accountable, but the high-level investment range is where you’ll get the biggest, most effective and quickest results. Again, remember the equation, Value = Time &/or Money + Measurable Return.
Where are you at?
Do you need to put your OWN value higher and realise that you are worth investing in? A business can’t be a business without investment, however small. Invest now to reap the rewards later.
Need clarity on your next steps forward?
After the holidays from 1st December for a limited time I am offering a FREE Breakthrough Business session to help you identify what you should do next to end 2016 with a clear plan for success in 2017. These sessions are only for entrepreneurs and business owners who are serious about investing time and money in their business, even if that scares them to death! It’s also worth noting that the investment they are willing to part with can be as low as £97 per month.
Perceived Value? You are getting 50 minutes of my time with my love and compliments, completely free. The price of my private coaching costs around £350 – £500 per hour.
With love & gratitude