Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 29th April 2015

I’m a big fan of marketing and advertising, I also think it’s a great way to see how a business views its product. I always note when companies sell themselves based on how cheap they are…‘nobody can beat our prices’ or ‘forever driving prices down’…or ‘you buy one you get one free’…

What sort of business can give away their product ‘free’ and still be providing a quality service?

Either they are overcharging you in the first place so have enough margin in what they bill you that they can afford to give stuff away (in which case you were being ripped off anyway) or they are about to cease trading and are grasping at straws to get your business prior to then shutting down?

What about companies that state….‘we won’t be beaten on price’…?

Surely market forces must mean that you can’t always be the lowest price? Geography must make a difference? A company next door to the site must be cheaper than one that has to travel 200 miles…obviously?

I’ve been thinking about these strategies for marketing and watching TV the other night noticed a new angle for selling cars along the lines of…‘you get what you pay for’….This is an ethos that I have always lived by. If you have two identical looking objects and one is £5 and the one next to it is £50 – I don’t immediately think ‘oooh….I will have the cheap one’ – I tend to think ‘why the price difference?’

Now I must admit there are objects out there that are identical and are simply different in price due to the way that they are being sold – obviously an item sold on Amazon will be cheaper than a high street store – they don’t have the overheads that the street store has and can therefore pass discounts on to their customers. I’m not saying this is a good thing I’m just saying…’s a fact.

Cars are a good example – I’ve had people say to me that a Porsche is no better than a Skoda – they are both a car….they both have four wheels and will both get you from A to B…but I’m sorry they are not both the same – the Porsche will be reliable, last forever and hold its value as well as providing a quick and luxurious way to travel. The Skoda will be ok but will never put a smile on your face – it will lose its value and be worthless and on the scrap heap whilst the Porsche is still being loved and polished in someone’s garage.

We at Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd (JKSL) have in the past had a reputation for being expensive. We have often been undercut by less experienced companies offering ‘quick fix’ solutions to Japanese Knotweed eradication – one most famous example JKSL quoted £15,000.00 and the local garden company quoted £500.00 – the client didn’t understand how we had arrived at our quote and went with the lower price. Twelve months later the same client rang back asking for advice on his now escalating problem as the Knotweed had now spread into his car park and was damaging the hard surfaces….revised costs from JKSL…. £22,000.00

We will always sit down and explain to our clients how we have arrived at our costs. We are happy to be transparent with our rates and our gross margin and will be happy to show our net profit on a particular project. We also strongly believe that a ‘profit’ should be made….and shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed about.

One thing to bear in mind when trying to get the cheapest possible price for your invasive weed problems….

Companies that are cheap (and often not very cheerful) may very well not be around in twelve months’ time. Many of these invasive non-native species will take years of repeat treatments to fully eradicate – if your cheaply priced contractor goes bump after his initial treatment has been carried out – who’s going to do the follow up….?

So whilst it’s not quite a Porsche/Skoda comparison – you may be better getting the company that’s going to last and have value – and be around to sort your follow up treatment….rather than the company that’s broken down by the roadside.

We don’t give away anything ‘free’ and we aren’t….‘the cheapest possible price’ – what we will do is sort your problem plants out at a reasonable price….and still be around for the foreseeable future.

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Mike Clough

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