I’ve just had a great day working with advice firm in Launceston, Tasmania. They have everything going for them – great reputation, loyal clients, talented team, good location, great office, great quality advice – except they lack one key aspect.
They find it hard to believe that they can charge ‘city’ prices in regional Launceston. Why not?
Their advice is as good as similar firms in the city, in fact it could be argued in regional towns they are ‘closer’ to the lives of their clients and potentially provide a stronger relationship service. They pay similar fees for the quality research and advice they obtain from their strategic alliances that are based in the cities. They pay the same fees for the software they use, and whilst labour and office rents are less, the available talent and rent pool is smaller.
The fuel prices are higher, the travel distances are shorter, the fantastic restaurants price fairly comparatively, the quality cars in the caryards are priced similarly, as do the phone plans and utilities services. OK, the house prices are cheaper.
But, they tell me, the people here are different – they won’t pay for quality advice.
Don’t they have plasma TVs? Don’t they have new cars? Don’t they pay for local medical specialists, legal specialists, agricultural specialists?
Don’t they value great advice, great service just the same as the city-slickers?
People won’t pay if they don’t see value.
In fact, I’d challenge regional Australia probably values great service more than metropolitan Australia as thats one of the reasons that keeps them in the town they live (and often love). They have usually made conscious choices to live where they love for a lifestyle that it important to them, more than the facilities and crowds of a city.
I think it’s a myth that great advice providers based in regional Australia have to be cheaper than advisers in metropolitan Australian because they are based in the bush.
What do you think?