People who invest in land often justify it with the throw-away line that “it’s something no one is making any more of”. I guess if the laws of supply and demand hold true, that means over time the demand will outstrip the supply and the land is sold for a profit. The realities of the market recently, however, might point us toward investments in something else that no one is “making more of” and that’s time. OK, maybe that’s slightly misstated, but the point is that there are a finite number of hours in each day and the competition for each minute within those hours is huge and growing. So how does that help us as businesspeople?
We make time/value decisions each day. Should we spend more to bring food in and save the cooking time? Should we attend a free seminar – will what we learn or who we meet justify the time? Should I send in my email address to get a free report of interest that might bring loads of unwanted crap to my mailbox that will cost me the time it takes to clean it up?
Think about the appeal of things such as EZ-Pass – we give up some privacy (you can be tracked!) in return for quicker travel – or even logging in via social sign-on (I can do 1,000 words on what THAT means to your privacy) to gain access to many sites’ commenting, etc. We make these decisions each day as consumers; as marketers and businesspeople we need to think about what we’re offering in that context. How does my product or service fit along that time/value continuum and is the money I’m charging justified by the return of time I’m offering? We know people will pay for convenience – how do we measure the point at which it becomes a “no-brainer?”
I like to think that part of why I’m useful as a consultant is that I save my clients a great deal of time. What about your business appeals to your customers as you take time into the equation? Are you a drain on their time or do you get to wherever “there” is more quickly?