False alternatives can harm your small business

In business, and in life, we can sometimes present ourselves with false alternatives. For example, on a business forum that I frequent, a member asked if he should stress the quality of his product or the quality of his service. But why does it need to be one or the other?

Certainly you want our marketing to be focused and consistent. If you claim that you have the highest quality and the lowest prices your message will be confusing. The two seldom go together. But a quality product and quality service do.

The member wondered how many people would be attracted to a quality product and how many would be attracted to quality service. He wanted to develop his marketing accordingly. But it isn’t either/ or–the two options are not mutually exclusive.

If he stresses the quality of his product, those who value quality service may not be interested. If he stresses the quality of his service, those who value a quality product may not be interested. But if he stresses both, he has covered his bases.

Certainly we shouldn’t try to be all things to all people. That isn’t the case here. Those who value a quality product generally also value quality service. A great product with horrible service does not make for a great experience. Nor does a horrible product with great service.

If you find yourself struggling between two choices, consider whether those truly are your only choices. Sometimes when we think that we must choose between A and B, we really have another choice.

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