Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quality Not Quantity

The great courtier Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) wrote:
Prize intensity more than extensity. Perfection resides in quality, not quantity.
In the modern hyper-consumerist era we prized quantity. Yet quality is what we should strive toward.

I remember several years ago reading an article about why the rich stay rich. The argument was that the wealthy purchase top quality items that last forever. When a wealthy man buys a pair of top quality shoes he never needs to replace them. He may spend a fortune on those shoes but in the long run he spends much less than the poor sap who buys new shoes every year.

The Great Recession has made us reexamine our spending habits. The New Normal is the antithesis of hyper-consumerism. That means you need to adapt your business for lower spending. Frugal is chic and should remain so for some time.

If your business is based on old spending patterns then you're in trouble. You need to get into the New Normal mindset or you'll sink like a stone.  The old hyper-consumerism was based on easy credit which is now maxed out. People are still losing their homes, cars and livelihoods -- don't expect a return to the easy credit-fueled, hyper-consumerist days.

All businesses must learn to live with the New Normal. We're going to be here for a long time. It's up to you to focus on quality, not quantity.  Hyper-consumerism is over and people are looking for real solutions. It's up to you to provide quality answers to their problems.

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