You’ve heard it before – You Get What You Pay For (or YGWYPF, to make it easier to write).
For the most part, it’s true. But like every good rule of thumb, it’s just that – a good way to evaluate possible alternative purchases. But it’s not always true.
Instead of trying to figure out whether something is a good deal based only on price, you have to bring in two more critical factors – quality and time. Using all three factors helps you make better business decisions. I call it the CGC Principle, or The Tradeoff Factor.
The CGQ Principle for Your Frugal Business
CGQ stands for “Cheap, Good, and Quick.” The CGQ principle says that you can have two out of three but never all three when you are planning and implementing a business project. (I always want to stop here and sing Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad by Meatloaf. But I won’t.) Since you won’t get all three, every business project involves decisions on which of the three is most important.
How CGQ Works
Cheap has to do primarily with cost. How much will it cost to do a project in monetary terms. You want to keep your costs down, right? But two more factors must be considered….
Good is well done, professional. Good means that the job is done right, looks professional, and is appealing (especially when it comes to marketing projects). Good also includes service and support, which can be a deal-breaker, as you’ll see later. Good also involves the amount of your time you put into the project. So you want it good, right? But one more important factor left….
Quick means you want it done as soon as possible, so you can get going on making money or whatever it is you want to do.
These factors are in no particular order. The emphasis varies depending on the project or decision.
Here’s an example, from my own experience. Remember, you can’t have all three factors!
An Example: Building a Website using CGQ
The criteria I used for this project:
- I wanted to build a website for Frugal Business Secrets,
- I wanted to be able to create blog posts and
- I wanted eventually to sell the print book, ebooks, and courses, on my website.
- I have built several websites on WordPress, so I wanted to stay with this platform.
I thought about getting a web designer to do the work for me to set up the blog. This would cost me hundreds of dollars. Hiring a web designer is Good and Quick (hopefully), but not Cheap. It may be the best option for you if you don’t have much experience with WordPress.
I decided to set up the website myself. I figured it would be Good and Cheap, but it would not be Quick, since it would take me longer to figure things out than a designer might need. (Two out of three, you see?)
In addition to the website, I wanted:
- A domain name (http://frugalbusinesssecrets.com/),
- A WordPress domain that would give me a professional domain (without the .wordpress extension), (from WordPress.org, not WordPress.com), and
- An email address – preferably free.
Selecting a Domain Service
I went to two domain services I have used in the past – GoDaddy and 1and1.com — because I knew they also had managed WordPress services. That is, they create the professional WordPress for you, give you templates to use, and manage the plug-ins (the additional features many websites need, like a shopping cart). 1and1 was cheaper, and it had free email. But…
What about Support? When I tried calling the Support/Service department for both, it was quite different. GoDaddy answered a phone call very quickly and resolved an issue within a few minutes. With 1and1, I had to send an email, and I waited several days for them to take an incorrect charge off my account. It took almost two weeks for the credit to come back to my account.
Good beats Cheap in this case. Although the total cost of GoDaddy’s service was higher, I selected GoDaddy because of its superior service.
The CQG Principle and the Tradeoffs
Next time you are considering buying something complex, or you are considering a project, run the CGQ analysis in your head. Your analysis should be about setting priorities. Which is most important – Cheap, Good, or Quick? Which one will you have to sacrifice?
- If you must have it Quick or Good, you will have to pay more (not Cheap)
- If you want Cheap, you will have to sacrifice either Good or Quick — maybe both!
- If you want Good, you may have to sacrifice either Cheap or Quick — maybe both!
- Over and over, I have seen this priority principle work.
Why CGQ Works
Its benefit is in forcing you to be realistic about the outcome of a project. Whenever we have unreasonable expectations about how things will work out – like expecting that we can get something done cheaply and quickly and have it also be high quality (good) – we get into trouble.
On almost every project, we spend more than we should or it takes longer than we thought and we are upset. Being realistic keeps us from stressing out. Or at least it keeps the stress manageable.
Remember Cheap, Good, and Quick next time you have a business project or a big business decision.
Practicing CGQ principles when making big project decisions can save your Frugal Business time and money.
Here’s to the success of your Frugal Business!