Where Does the “X” Go?
The story goes like this:
A top manufacturing design firm had hit a snag. Their new product was ready to go but all of a sudden there was a problem. It stopped working and no one knew what was wrong. Even the designer was stuck, and the release date was around the corner. Without a fix the competition would win the battle meaning they may as well close the door as this product was the gateway to the next ten to twenty years. Finally they outsourced the problem and called in the top guy in the area. The man gladly came down, they all shook hands and he agreed to look. They handed him the product and the designs on paper. He looked down moved a few sheets around, picked up the product then picked up one of the sheets of paper, took out his sharpie and made an “X”. “Your problem is here, easy to fix”. He then left. They were ecstatic and told him to send the bill. The product released on time the next day. In two days the bill arrived and it was for “$25,000”. The company was aghast. Really, $25,000 for about five minutes of work? The CFO was a tad miffed and called the man saying “look, we appreciate your contribution but $25,000 seems rather expensive for the little time you spent here. If I sign this check for that amount I will more than likely be called in front of the board and may in fact loose my position. Can you break this down, itemize it? I want to pay you what you think is right.”. The next day an envelope arrived via delivery with another sheet of paper. The new bill was for $25,000.79. The itemized list showed two items New Sharpee .79, Where to mark the “X” $25.000. The CFO had the courier wait so he could send a cashiers check back the same day.
This story came to mind after reading a recent article in the ABA Journal about top firms (those with 100 plus lawyers) starting a major layoff especially in recent times due to the recession. One major reason given was that clients were often taken aback by legal fees of $250 hour for what seemed like secretarial or clerical work. Perhaps these fees are a case of “where to draw” or in this case “where and what to file”. But it does bring about the worth of work being done.
We see this in our world with Social Media presence. The value of your website, post on Facebook, look on LinkedIN. There certainly are a lot of players and unlike a lawyer anyone can play in the Social Media world. There is no court needed to open a site or type in some HTML to maximize Google’s new search algorithm. You just need to know the latest then keep up with the changes. The key really is knowing the latest. It is like the latest law on some interstate commerce that allows you ship or sell or stops your competition from doing so. The big thing is the fairness of the price. If that expertise made you a millionaire or multi millionaire the $25,000 was a fair price. If it saved your company from extinction then it is also fair. Should the price of been higher in these cases? Maybe. But not many people these days take stocks, or options for their service. Too many have been burned by promises of fortune and fame. Cash rules.
When picking an SEO or website firm get the plan. They should be able to outline in reasonable detail what the strategy is for the next few months. These strategies by the way are all over the Net including here. The implementation is the hard part, picking some of the words or terms is where you win big or not. And keeping to the plan is also important. One placement does as much good as eating that one diet meal, or having no dessert today.