What Shopping for a Chair Taught Me About Business

We are at home entrepreneurs. We tend to sit at our desks for long hours at a time. Running our empires shouldn’t be a major pain in the butt, literally. We need good equipment, right? A nice desk, of course our computer, and a comfortable chair.
branding tips
I had a decent chair. It was leather and one of those swanky executive looking things. The thing was great for a few months and then the seat started to lose its cushiony-ness. (not a real word but, you know what I mean) I decided that it was high time for a new one so I went online to find a replacement. So many freakin’ chairs to choose from. I wanted comfort but didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I ended up ordering one that looked very similar to the first one and it was pretty comfortable. My butt was not hurting but my lower back gave me a few pinches now and then. I thought that I was just sitting on my ass for too many hours and tried breaking my work up into pieces to see if that was the problem. That seemed to help a bit for a short bit. Ugh. Another one bites the dust.
I went back online on my grande chair hunt and found yet another leather hip looking throne. Ordered it. The price was nice too. It came, lasted three months and the leather began to crack. Not the greatest quality. Frustrating.
Now, this is three chairs that I ordered, took the time out of my day to assemble. Yes, there were some curse words flying at those times. Why don’t they actually WRITE the directions?
My Birthday came up and my oldest sons asked what I wanted and I said… a new chair. Knowing that my boys buy quality things, I once again went on a chair hunting spree. Let me tell ya, I actually spent days online watching Youtube reviews and freakish stuff like that. I found a few that I really thought were the ticket! Some were totally outrageously priced and I just could not bear to ask my kids to invest a grand on my seating. So, I opted for one that sort of looked like the Herman Miller but was sold at a fraction of the cost. Ooh! Was I ever excited. I stalked the UPS tracking and D Day (delivery day) came and I rushed to put it all together. It was marvelous. A weird looking thing but it was supposed to be awesome. I sat in it and was prepared to hear angels singing.. Umm, no. My feet did not touch the floor. Crap. No matter how I adjusted the million and a half adjustments, it just din’t work. Sad and feeling bad that the boys spent over $300 for the “wrong” chair. I kept quiet and bought a foot rest to see if that fixed it.
the newest chair
For the last week or so, I have been dealing with a sore butt, back, and ego. Why did I settle for what I call a knock-off of the item that I really wanted? It was my fear of spending money. Money on something that is pretty much imperative for what I do. I sit for many hours, designing for clients so I need to be comfortable.
Now, I am once again studying chairs. Yep, back to researching reviews and what not. I learned that the higher end chairs like Herman Millers come with warranties that speak for themselves. They have different sizes and will help you choose the correct one.
So, what does this have to do with business and personal branding?
I sat and really reflected on what makes the higher priced companies better. The name? The warranty? The reviews? The service? The support? ALL of it!
I am guilty of purchasing what I thought was a great alternative to spending big bucks several times. Not looking at it as an investment for my business. I am sure that many of us have done it. We buy what is less expensive but ends up being much more costly in the long run. (I could’ve bought 2 Herman Miller chairs with what I spent on other alternative)
Thinking about my business and how I can be like Herman Miller or heck, I will go there, even Apple. How can I deliver quality and value to my clients. I decided to really step my game up in that aspect and am adding things like long term website support and a Rolodex of resources that I can easily offer to my customers. I want it to feel like a warranty. Now, it doesn’t mean I will be jacking my price up so high that I look like a nut. I just want to deliver a very valuable product and be known for that.
So, what shopping fiascos have taught you about your business positioning? Comment below.

Comments +

  1. Chrissy Dee says:

    And now I am saving up to buy that Herman Miller!

  2. Great way to show how quality really matters and spending a little more can really be worth it in the long run!

    • Chrissy Dee says:

      Yes. Most of us ( I know that I have been) are guilty of skimping only to find we end up spending much more correcting our mistake. I was just also thinking of how so many of us have probably had a few run ins with at home hair dye vs going to the salon. lol

  3. Your last chair looks sort of like a Zody chair, but I’m sure it’s not because if you got the Zody you’d be in heaven! An office I used to work in bought them for all the employees and they were seriously magical, highly recommend! But, you will pay the price. Good luck with your next chair!

    • Chrissy Dee says:

      Thank you. I will have to check the Zody out. I actually ordered the Herman Miller Aeron so I will be sure to let you know what I think of it when I get it. 🙂

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