Archive for November, 2010
Most clients, be they large or small, always seem to want the quick-fix solution to cut costs. This especially bodes well in today’s economy where everything revolves around squeezing the almighty dollar. Whether that’s right or wrong remains to be seen.
Example 1: custom shopping cart
A certain Kosher meat store that sells high-quality products has management that was unclear on how to move forward with a website. They wanted a website to display their information as well as have a standard shopping cart. They wanted recipes integrated into each product. RJH Solutions was approached, and created a custom CMS that displayed content information as well as recipes. The Shopping cart was next. However, since everything was custom, the whole process took a very long time. They then went ahead and chose a cheaper solution which was not custom, and in the end, the designer/coder “dropped the ball,” leaving them with no real website. The tricky part, in the end, was the recipe integration, which most standard shopping carts failed to provide.
It’s still believed that, had they stuck with the original programmer they would have had their website up and running efficiently, if not quickly.
Example 2: custom watch vs. Fossil
I’ve had a Fossil watch since 2001, when I was still just starting out in University. Fossil’s brash statement was that each watch contained an 11 year warranty, since it was supposed to be of very high quality. That watch has lasted me to this day, and I’ve only had to change the battery a few times, which is normal.
Now, there are European watch manufacturers that create custom, jewel encrusted watches. Those can go for hundreds to thousands of dollars. In a heartbeat, most people will go with the cheaper, efficient Fossil.
Example 3: Custom Suits vs. Knockoffs
When choosing suits for occasions, most people will buy a knockoff brand of a suit since it’s cheaper, then get it tailored at a cheap rate rather than pay $1,200 for a custom made, Italian suit.
That’s all there is to it. The western world operates in an instant-pleasure, me-first society. That’s just how it works. Me first, me me me, and cheap now, cheap cheap cheap.
Businesses failing in many cases are the consequences of people asking to buy things on credit, or to take things for free. When this happens, the government eventually collapses.
Case 1: Banks
Banks are the most obvious. To put it simply, people not paying banks on time was the number 1 global cause of our current recession. They would extend loans and ridiculously low down payment options on homes to families with not the greatest credit scores. Apparently, houses were expensive and banks were dying to unload the houses on people so they could make “some money” off them. As a result, most deferred on their mortgages and ran away when approached with the dirty word “money.” When this happened, banks were undergoing a tailspin. This may be a simplistic explanation, and there’s more to it, but this sums it up.
Case 2: Fruit Palace’s Demise and Pomegranate
Fruit Palace was a small Kosher convenience store based in Flatbush, New York, owned by “heimish” people. They supplied produce and groceries, and competed with larger places by catering to the the hard-pressed middle class in extending credit to them. As a result, most other religious Jews took advantage of these guys and bought things on credit that was so extended, one could not see the end to it.
Many stores in the area and especially in communities like Boro Park and Williamsburg keep such black ruled school notebooks with pages of family names where groceries are routinely charged. Sources say Fruit Palace’s book included “a crushing debt of thousands of dollars” that had resulted in a growing accounts payable by the store’s owner. One Boro Park store told a source close to KosherToday that his book was “worth over $26,000.” A worker at Fruit Palace said that customers would frequently drop of checks of a fraction of the debt, “say $100 on a $400 bill.”
While many customers blamed Pomegranate, a nearby kosher produce store, as severely impacting business of local retailers, distributors and other food sources said that most of the stores “while hurting, are pretty much holding their own.” In the end, it boiled down to asking for free stuff.
Case 3: Restaurants and lack of tips in NY
In New York, the culture there is to eat out more often than eat at home. As a result, people neglect to pay respectable tips. Restaurants therefore have to be tough to survive, or crash and burn. However, between the failure of most customers to pay sufficient tips, the incredible amount of stress on the very profession, and incredibly high property taxes, restaurants are among those businesses that are dying.
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