man in showerThis morning I was in the shower enjoying the warm and wet goodness, when I reached down and discovered my trusty Dove bar was missing. Since I jumped into the shower before checking if I was fully stocked up on shampoo and soap, I was left with a problem everyone has faced at least once in their lives. Should I get out of the shower to find more soap or do I try washing down only with shampoo? If I leave the shower, do I get dry before or get the bathroom floor wet? If I stayed in the shower long enough, would I just get clean enough from the hot water? After all the options had been weighed, I ended up with an alternate solution that presented itself in the form of vanilla body wash. Yes sir, I ended up using my wife’s body wash instead of getting out of the shower to get some new soap. I have smelled like vanilla all day and for the life of me can’t find my “man card” anywhere. Maybe I left it on the floor of Zupas?

Why did you just read a ridiculous story about my morning shower? I want to present one simple business concept and then explain how it pertains to online marketing. While I’m explaining this concept, I’ll be referring back to the overly-revealing story above to make a few points.

Every business should learn about the concept of sunk costs. According to the world’ most trusted resource, Wikipedia, sunk costs are “retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs). Sunk costs are those things that you’ve already committed time or money to, but may not be working out. The real knowledge about sunk costs that every business owner needs to know is that no matter the sunk cost, it shouldn’t affect your future decisions. If you’ve already purchased a movie ticket, but are presented with free concert tickets don’t let your purchase affect the decision. You should ultimately choose the event that you will make enjoy your weekend the most and forget about what has already been spent.

I won’t go into too much detail about sunk costs, but know that they present themselves in all aspects of business. With my work in online marketing, I’ve noticed that this concept is more than relevant with a company website. As shown in my shower conundrum, just because I got into the shower doesn’t change the fact that I need soap. Just because your business spent thousands of dollars on an ugly website doesn’t change the fact that you need a good one to be successful online. Website technology is growing every day and your site will need a new look or new functionality before too long. Some companies even build a new site every single year.

Nasty Soap

Don’t be satisfied with a website that looks like it was built in the 90’s when MC Hammer was still cool. If you end up worrying about how much you already spent, you may end up like me – smelling like vanilla all day long. Let my lesson help aid you in your upcoming decision to purchase a proper website. A website that looks good. A website that performs well. A website that actually gets you new sales. A website that doesn’t smell like vanilla, because it was too lazy to get the soap needed to get the job done.

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Jamie Bates