In the 12 years of convincing (or misleading) consumers, and being a consumer myself for as long as I remember; I have learnt quite a bit. But none as important as this: businesses are bad for consumers.
Why? Because giving your money to someone who says he or she is “doing business” means you are not getting any value whatsoever.
Imagine this scenario; let’s say you are a chef who owns and runs a restaurant. If someone asks you the inevitable “what do you do?” question, what would be your answer?
a) I run a business
b) I am a chef
If you were someone who’s passionate about food and thinks the kitchen is your second home, then your answer would be (b). But if you stumbled into culinary school as a bleary 18-year old and then slogged to become a chef only to realise that your real passion is to become a ventriloquist, then you would answer (a).
See how answering a simple question can shed light into one’s motivations? A business’ objective is not to serve you, but to maximise profits at the lowest cost possible. A business is only interested in your money, and will only give you goods or services in exchange. And sometimes, the good and/or services delivered may not be up to par nor fulfill your needs.
On the other hand, if you were to deal with someone who is really passionate about what he or she does, then you are not only getting value for money but also good quality and proper attention. Simply because money is not the only motivator in this person’s life and he or she is genuinely interested in giving you the best for the amount you pay. No shortcuts, no overpromises, no cutbacks and definitely no off-the-shelf solutions.
So the next time you meet someone who you know might be eyeing your pocket, ask the question. If the answer has anything to do with he or she running a business; then say thanks and steer clear. You might just save yourself some Ringgits and future heartache.