I really do hope small business owners pay attention to the lesson here.
You do not have to be the cheap option to get clients. In fact, that's likely to lead you to failure.
People have money that they will spend. Target those people, not the cheapskates.
There's a whole community of people who won't spend any money on anything. You shouldn't be targeting your business at those people because there are plenty of people who do have money and will spend it.
You can sell your shoes for $20 targeting the budget customer and have to make that sale thirty times to make $600.
Or you can sell your shoes for $600 targeting an upscale customer and only have to make one sale to make $600.
It's the same shoe! Just choose wisely who you want to sell shoes to.
This is not a revelation to anyone who understands branding and marketing. If you position yourself in the market as the bargain option, you will attract bargain shoppers. If you position yourself in the market as a premium option, you will attract premium shoppers.
Keep this in mind as you plan your marketing strategy going forward.
Here's a link to a Washington Post article with additional coverage.
Here are a couple of books that will help you develop a “boutique business” strategy for your business:
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